Dozens of Travellers have been deported from New South Wales, Australia in the past ten months for conning innocent members of the public with shoddy repair jobs.
New South Wales Fair Trading reveal that most of the 39 conmen, largely from Ireland, were forcibly removed from the country after convictions for a range of offenses, the Brisbane Times reports. Others fled the country having realized they would be charged.
Anthony Roberts, Minister for Fair Trading, launched a crackdown on the conmen. In the past year 35 people have been prosecuted for 121 breaches of the law and more than AUD$300,000 in fines have been handed down.
Robert says he is working with Irish authorities and the media to send a message to these conmen.
He said “The vast majority of Irish people in Australia, probably 99 per cent, are great people but for those few bad apples that come here to rip us off, they are the scourge of the modern Western world.
“They don't have any qualms about ripping off the elderly or the vulnerable and see nothing wrong or immoral about how they operate or the fact that they are very dangerous and violent.”
The Fair Trading Ministry reported that in one case a 70-year-old Double Bay woman gave an Irish Traveller three checks, to the value of AUD$35,000, to fix her roof. He cashed AUD$23,000 of the checks before fleeing the country.
In another case an Irish Traveller convinced three elderly couples that he was an engineer. They each paid AUD$4,000 for his services. He was caught, fined $90,091 and deported.
Roberts explained that the conmen operated by offering exceptional deals on home improvements. He said “might be a $10,000 job but they say they can do it for $2000 and then they use cheap water-based paint that will be running down the roof the first time it rains.
“They then tell the poor elderly home owner that it will actually be $5000 and they go from two nice smiling Irishmen to turning up with five threatening individuals who take you down to the ATM to get the money.”