Kiwi Facebook pages operating as black-market for consumer goods
Wellington: The New Zealand police has reportedly uncovered a string of Kiwi Facebook pages which operate as a black-market for stolen-to-order consumer goods including car parts and firearms.
The items include stolen cars and car parts apart from electronic goods, heavily discounted liquor and cosmetics, which are being sold and swapped.
According to stuff.co.nz, the police used information from the Facebook pages to make dozens of arrests for selling and receiving stolen goods and said that most items for sale were probably legitimate but many were suspect.
Consumer NZ adviser Maggie Edwards said that consumers would have no legal claim to items which later prove stolen.
The report said that the questionable items include a collection of new perfumes from celebrities, a rifle, a crossbow and a PlayStation game device, which are up for grabs at heavily discounted prices.
Among the trading sites, the most prominent are a series of Upper Hutt-administered pages operating under the `Hustle Live` banner, the largest of which has more than 47,500 members.
Sergeant Wil Black, said that the Hustle Live pages had been key in tracking down 32 stolen vehicles and hundreds of car parts.
The Hustle Live pages are administered by Brent Maukau, who insists that he himself did not sell anything illegal or is profiting from business on the page adding that the page is created for members to trade their stuff for free and those who are reported selling stolen goods are banned.
Consumer advisor Edwards said that buyers on Facebook were more vulnerable than shoppers on more reputable sites.
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