A West Bromwich operator that helped a banned firm continue running HGVs by acting as a front has had its licence revoked and its directors disqualified.
Traffic Commissioner Nick Denton said the vehicles specified on the licence of Pure Veg were owned and operated by Master Construction Products (MCP), which had its licence revoked by him in October 2020 for poor maintenance standards and a long history of non-compliance. Suspicions were aroused in February, when a DVSA report found that all of the vehicles on Pure Veg’s licence, which purported to operate in the catering sector, were volumetric mixers, tippers or grab vehicles. The DVSA said of the 10 trucks specified on the licence between March and June 2021, all were registered to the revoked operator.
Pure Veg was called to a Birmingham public inquiry, but no-one from the company – including directors Amandeep Kahlar and Harpreet Kaur – attended. Instead, Kahlar provided a bundle of evidence to the TC ahead of the PI, which he claimed would answer all of the TC’s concerns.
In his written decision, TC Denton said the evidence included a letter from the director which explained that he was a silent partner in MPC and was involved in property development, so from time to time he used the services of MPC to provide groundworks services for his projects. Kahlar insisted Pure Veg had full control over the vehicles and it also instructed the drivers, paid for the fuel and any parts that were required, and also arranged maintenance.
However, the TC said Kahlar’s evidence prompted more questions and so the PI was reconvened to allow the director to respond. “These answers raised further serious problems in my mind,” the TC said. “Even if one accepts Mr Kahlar at his word, which I am very far from doing, that the vehicles on the Pure Veg licence were used in support of property businesses in which he had an interest, they clearly should not have been, as Pure Veg only has a restricted licence and its vehicles cannot carry concrete etc for other businesses. It is quite clear to me that the so-called hire arrangement between Pure Veg Ltd and Master Construction Products was a complete fiction.”
As a result, both Pure Veg directors were disqualified indefinitely.