Owner of bogus meet-and-greet firm £4,000 out of pocket after High Court throws out appeal

Cllr Rabnawaz Akbar on the city council fining a rogue meet-and-greet operator.

A dishonest trader who falsely claimed to be offering a secure parking service for Manchester Airport has finally faced justice after his appeal was thrown out by the High Court.

A dishonest trader who falsely claimed to be offering a secure parking service for Manchester Airport has finally faced justice after his appeal was thrown out by the High Court.

Nabeel Khoury has been prosecuted after making false claims about the meet-and-greet airport parking company he was running.

PPS Manchester Limited claimed that the cars of holidaymakers left with them would be kept in a fenced compound, patrolled 24 hours a day by security guards.

However, following a sting operation run by Manchester City Council’s Trading Standards Team, it was discovered that rather than being stored in a secure lock up, a dummy car was parked on a street in Wythenshawe, not far from Khoury’s home.

The operation was launched following a string of complaints from Wythenshawe residents, who repeatedly complained about the number of cars left parked, sometimes for weeks on end, on their streets by meet-and-greet companies.

In August 2016, the council’s trading standards team booked parking with PPS Manchester Limited, via the company’s website. On a page entitled 'Safe and Secure', PPS claimed: “You can have peace of mind knowing that your car is kept on a concrete surface surrounded by palatine fencing, patrolled by security guards 24 hours a day and is part of a new Manchester airport complex less than 1 mile from the airport grounds just behind the Hilton hotel”.

A car was fitted with a GPS tracker, allowing officers to track its movements. After being picked up by PPS from Manchester Airport, the car was left on Greenwood Road - a residential road, with none of the security features advertised on the website at the time of booking - where it remained until it was driven back to the airport for collection two days later.

On May 31 last year PPS Manchester and Khoury, as its director, were convicted at Manchester Magistrates’ Court of an offence under the Consumer Protection From Unfair Trading Regulations.

Khoury subsequently appealed to the crown court but on December 7 that appeal was dismissed. He then took his case to the High Court, appealing on a point of law.

But, once again, following a hearing before two High Court judges sitting in Manchester on July 18 his appeal was dismissed.

Following his first trial Khoury was fined £425 and ordered to pay £1,000 in court costs. After his first appeal at Crown Court a further £1,000 was added to his bill for costs, and following his failed appeal to the High Court, he was ordered to pay an additional £2,500 in costs.

As PPS Manchester Limited has been dissolved, Khoury, aged 46 of Greenwood Road, Wythenshawe, personally liable to pay this sum.



Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “I hope now that after a successful conviction and two failed appeals the defendant in this case has got the message. We will always back our residents and the people of Wythenshawe do not deserve to have their streets treated as giant overflow car park for operators such as Khoury.

“I would like to thank our team for securing this conviction and preventing members of the public being ripped off in the future. This scam was unfair and took advantage of people believing they were paying for a quality service.

To anyone flying from Manchester Airport, I’d urge them to think twice and seek reviews from trusted sources before handing the keys to their vehicle to an unofficial airport meet-and-greet firm. As Khoury’s case demonstrates, all too often, the reality of the service provided by cowboy operators does not match up to what is promised.”

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