Saturday, July 5, 2014

The TUV Story

On every German vehicle, you will notice a decal on the cartag.  It's a TUV sticker....noting the last inspection, thus noting that it's fully in compliance with the standards established by Germany to be on the road.

Without the sticker.....the cops can pull you over and it's a stiff fine.

You get a vehicle inspection every two years, and the inspector will note the situation by applying the sticker.

This weekend, it's come out in Wiesbaden (via the local paper, the Wiesbaden Kurier).....that an audit occurred with the local office in Wiesbaden.  It was an unannounced audit and revealed that they are 3,500 stickers short.

This got the audit folks all disturbed, and it's turned into an investigation of sorts.  What they say is that one single decal on the black worth 300 Euro minimum, and could go as high as 500 Euro.

You find a garage mechanic will will produce fake inspection papers, and a real decal.....for a vehicle that might have major problems (costing several thousand Euro to fix), and you got yourself a pretty good deal.  You avoid the repairs and just pay for the decal and fakeness.

I've been over to the office in town.  There might be a total of a dozen people who deal with the decals and have access in their safe.  You figure a decal delivery to the organization is for a two-year period, and if they were had to be in the past year or so.  As for previous issues like this?  I'm guessing at the end of period of holding.....they get a written order to destroy the remaining decals....sign a paper to that effect....and supposedly shred the remaining decals.  Nothing goes back to a central you could sneak around and dump a hundred here or five-hundred there, and likely never get figured out unless an audit occurred.

As for the value of 3,500 decals?  Figure roughly a million. The person in the office who took probably a middle-man, and probably got twenty-five percent of the value on the black-market.  So, as the audit investigation progresses.....they will be looking for someone who suddenly had a quarter-million Euro in bank deposits, property purchases, or increased lifestyle within the past two years.  Course, they may have been there for two decades, and continually took a thousand decals here and there, and have a fairly good lifestyle accumulated over the years.

Yearly trips to Greece?  A new Audi TT?  A Rolex watch?  High-end shoes?  Expensive lifestyle?

Yeah, and they will take you down to the police station to explain these.

An odd story.  I'm guessing it'll take a year before they crack the case and get the person to agree to some form of guilt.  Getting the decals back?  Forget it.  The profits from the decal sales?  Forget about that because it's likely already spent.  Firing the individual is about all you will see on this deal.  

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