An insight into organized crime, fraud and the vice trade
Traveller traders from the Bishop O’Brien clan sold hundreds of dodgy generators at inflated prices.
Rathkealers go Down Under
Undercover Aussie detectives snapped a band of Irish traveller traders on a working holiday flogging dodgy generators to unsuspecting punters.
Pictured are Danny ‘Bishop’ O’Brien and two of his brothers Jonathon and Patrick along with another wealthy Rathkeale trader Jeremiah ‘Spud’ O’Brien.
The traders made hundreds of thousands of Australia dollars during their stint Down Under.
The snaps were published this week by fair trade officials in New South Wales in a bid to identify the rogue traders.
“The boys made out like bandits on the Gold Coast,” according to a Sunday World source who named most members of the group.
The group shipped four containers from Chinese factories to Australia where they sold generators and power washers from the back of hired vans.
Jonathan ‘Bishop’ O’Brien and another man were caught on video as they were confronted by consumer rights official Michael Cooper in Sydney.
A rented storage space was shown packed high with brand new generators still in their packaging.
“Are you police officers?” demanded ‘Bishop’ O’Brien before driving away without locking up his storage space or even closing his van’s door.
The ‘Bishop’ O’Briens and ‘Spud’ all arrived back this week in the infamous County Limerick village for the annual Blessing of the Graves.
More than a hundred Rathkealers travelled to Australia since last September in three separate groups.
One group were caught by immigration officials in Brisbane where they had been selling goods and quickly left the country voluntarily.
The ‘Bishop’ O’Brien clan then turned up and within weeks their electrical goods were attracting attention from investigators all over Australia.
New South Wales Fair Trading Minister Virginia Judge repeated her warning last Wednesday to local consumers not to deal with the traders.
“I’m advised that the investigation is ongoing, with Fair Trading officers approaching several of these traders last week,” Ms Judge said.
“The men fled the scene and quickly departed their accommodation in Sydney, with some understood to have left the country.”
They described the group as very well organised selling cheap Hondamann-branded generators.
Last week the Sunday World highlighted how one man in Darwin was fooled into buying ten of the dud generators.
“I’m advised they’re selling to consumers at highly inflated prices, from the rear of hired tradesman’s vans. The generators have been purchased for approximately $129 and are being sold to consumers for prices ranging from about $400 to $1500 each,” Ms Judge said.
“Tests conducted on the generators have revealed they are not capable of performing in accordance with the representations made at the time of sale and in the signage on the packaging.”
She added that the generators are not made by reputable companies and are cheap copies.
“Consumers should not buy these generators but if they have purchased one, they should have it tested by a qualified electrician,” she said.
“There is no warranty offered and there is no chance of obtaining a refund on any items purchased because these people quickly leave an area after they achieve any sales.”
Eamon Dillon, Sunday World, November 2008.