06.01.2017

Illegal garage in Agrément: prosecutor orders the removal of all vehicles

THE POLICE FORCE HAS BEEN CARRYING OUT AN OPERATION SINCE WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 4 WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF THE FIGHT AGAINST UNDECLARED WORK.

Only eight vehicles remained on the private land occupied by an illegal garage near the Agrément traffic circle on the morning of Thursday, January 5. "At the end of the day, none will be left and the Collectivité will place concrete blocks at the entrance," stated captain Emmanuel Maignan. Since Wednesday, January 4 at 8:30 AM, the gendarmes have been carrying out a dismantling operation in the fight against undeclared work.

Although there is still a large quantity of garbage on the ground (cans, used oil, scrap metal, engine parts, etc.), the land adjacent to the ravine is unrecognizable. Because it is practically empty. The equipment and vehicles have been confiscated. On Wednesday, January 4, the tow truck came and removed 18 vehicles, or what was left of them. It transported them to the dump. Eight owners appeared and their vehicles were returned to them; the two legally contested vehicles were seized. All the others will be destroyed at a rate of five per day. The cost of the destruction will be covered by the Collectivité under the agreement signed by Verde Sxm.

In November, the gendarmes inspected an illegal garage in French Quarter. The one in Agrément had already been inspected in May, and police forces had removed eight wrecked cars and directed the "garage owner" to declare himself at the relevant departments. "Since then, not only did he not take any administrative steps, but he increased his work," noted the captain. The individual had already been sanctioned in 2014 following an inspection for undeclared work with recommendations toward becoming compliant. On Thursday, January 5 at 8:30 AM, after 24 hours in custody, he returned to the cabin that he had built from car wrecks on the land where he was working illegally. He should be summoned before the court soon. 

The gendarmes already have three or four new targets, but estimate at least double the number of illegal garages, whether larger or smaller in size. They therefore plan to carry out one dismantling operation per month, or one every two months. “This requires a lot of preparation" and mobilizes a large police force. There were, in fact, 40 people there on Wednesday morning - particularly to identify the vehicles - and eight in the afternoon.    

Before (Photo credit: gendarmerie):

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After: 

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Having your car repaired by an undeclared mechanic is a criminal offense for execution of undeclared work. It is relatively easy to differentiate a legal from an illegal garage. However, in case of doubt, it is better to ask the mechanic for their card with their SIRET number, even if it means then checking the company’s registration online. This number also appears on the estimates and invoices that the mechanic is required to issue you to be compliant. A worthy garage should also have a pollution remediation system.

Fanny Fontan

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