Germany Scrapping Bonus Could Turn into Organized Crime

In an effort to increase new car sales and save the environment as well, the German government decided upon a new measure to pay owners of old cars €2,500 to junk their clunkers. But since nothing is perfect, it seems that even before the measure is turned into law, the first attempts to fool the system emerged, thetruthaboutcars reported.

Although the program is only one week old, it seems that there's already a huge black market for bogus car culling. Surprisingly, a Monitor TV team managed to sell a supposedly shredded car to Poland. After that, they sold it to a Lebanese trader who exported it to Africa. The icing on the cake is that they have finally registered the supposedly culled car again in Berlin, ready to take advantage of the stimulus program.

The critics of the program believe that the stimulus plan will be turned into “organized crime”. “We assume that hundreds of thousands of cars and hundreds of millions of Euros will end up in the hands of organized crime,” claimed Jürgen Resch, head of the environmental organization Deutsche Umwelthilfe.

The idea of junking your old car, getting €2,500 ($3,250) instead (on the condition the car is at least nine years old) and buying a new one appears very popular among owners of wrecks. According to the market research institute Puls, 1.2 million people should benefit from the law that Angela Merkel hopes to be voted this month.

However, the budget of €1.5 billion set aside for the so-called "scrapping bonus" could be paid only for 600,000 cars. That means  car owners who wait too long may just not take advantage of the bonus. Not to mention the frauds that can leave innocent owners of old cars empty-handed.

In addition, German automakers won't even benefit from this measure as expected by the German government. According to a study by Puls, 7.9 percent of owners of old cars would like to take advantage of the scrapping bonus. Yet, only 17.2 percent have thought buying a Volkswagen, while the next three carmakers on the list -- Dacia, Ford and Fiat -- are non-German brands.
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