Cape Town - A Parow car dealership owner has apparently gone into hiding after allegedly defrauding people who bought cars from him to the tune of millions of rand.
Private investigator Mike Bolhuis said he was investigating seven cases involving R11.3 million against the owner of the dealership.
Police media liaison officer Captain Frederick van Wyk said 10 cases had been opened at the Parow police station.
Two of Bolhuis’s clients lost R2.5m each, another two lost R1.5m each, while the others lost amounts of R2m, R800 000 and R500 000 each.
He said the dealer “bought” cars for between R152 000 and R430 000 per car from car dealerships and individuals and resold them, but failed to pay the car dealerships and individuals.
“This is going to become a massive case. Well-known people have invested in his business. He gets money from people and has sold vehicles across the country. But he doesn’t pay people he bought the vehicles from. His cheques bounce,” said Bolhuis.
The dealership was closed on Wednesday morning and it’s believed the owner went into hiding on Tuesday night, following threats from people to whom he owed money, said Bolhuis.
“There are gangsters after him, so he fears for his life. There are people … who want to hurt him. There’s a hit out on him because people want to take him out. He has taken a lot of people for a ride,” he said.
Van Wyk declined to confirm whether the dealer had gone into hiding, saying only: “The suspect has not been arrested.”
Bolhuis has appealed to people not to take the law into their own hands, but to work with the police and him and pursue charges against the dealer.
“We will get to the bottom of it and do a proper investigation. We are asking people not to sort out their issues with him in a violent way. They mustn’t hurt him.”
He has asked the dealer to get in touch with him or the police.
“He must hand himself over.”
Louise Kellerman, of Hypercar in Parow, said the dealer bought four vehicles worth a total of R632 000, but when she tried to deposit his cheques they all bounced.
“We’re trying to get the vehicles back, but we can’t claim them if they are already in other people’s names. That’s the big problem,” she said.
“People have lost millions and (it’s) going to be a long, dragging case.”