Court fines holiday salesman

A HOLIDAY salesman has been ordered to pay more than £2,000 after a Worthing man lodged a complaint against him.

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Officers from West Sussex Trading Standards Service secured a conviction against Mel Bouzad, 36, of Southlea Avenue, in Bournemouth, for selling holidays without correct financial security in the event of insolvency.

Bouzad was convicted of contravening the The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations Act 1992 at Chichester Magistrates’ Court on August 4.

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The case followed a complaint from a Worthing man who had booked a £1,150 rally holiday in Europe through Bouzad’s London registered business, Pure Rally.

At the 11th hour, Bouzad tried to levy an extra charge of £285 on the customer with the promise of a refund later in the year.

The Worthing man, who wants to remain anonymous, could not pay and forfeited his holiday.

When Trading Standards began investigating the complaint it emerged that Bouzad did not have the necessary financial security in place to protect consumers when they are abroad on his holidays.

The financial security is necessary to ensure that companies can get their customers home in the event of insolvency of the business.

Bouzad was fined £1,000 by the court, ordered to pay £1,000 towards WSCC’s prosecution costs and ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge.

West Sussex County Council’s cabinet member for residents’ services with responsibility for trading standards, David Barling, said: “I hope this case goes to show that we will pursue people beyond the borders of West Sussex if the victims fall within our area.

“This was quite a complex case and due credit should be given to the trading standards team for the thorough investigation they carried out.”

Anyone who thinks they have been a victim of an unfair trading practice should contact Trading Standards via Citizens Advice on 03454 04 05 06 or www.westsussex.gov.uk/TSreport

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