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16 February 2012

Media Release: Irish conmen target Ipswich suburbs

A notorious gang of Irish conmen has hit Queensland targeting suburbs in Ipswich.

The gang known as the "Irish Gypsies" offers householders cheap asphalt driveways and car parks claiming it is left over from nearby roadworks and construction sites.

Yesterday, the gang struck at Augustine Heights near Greater Springfield promising local residents high quality driveways provided they agreed on the spot.

They were driving a silver Toyota sedan with registration number starting with 313.

Local Ipswich Councillor Paul Tully said the fast-talking gang usually offered to drive the unsuspecting householder to the bank to pay for the job.

Cr Tully said the scammers either disappear with the money or do a rough job which falls apart within days.
He said one of the gang's tricks was to cover their poor work with a thin layer of white sand telling the property owner not to remove it for a 7 days while the bitumen "cured".

"These dodgy operators hit Australia every summer to avoid the overseas winter and rip off hundreds of home owners.

"They deserve to be jailed for their fraudulent scams and not simply face deportation for working on tourist visas if they are caught."

Cr Tully called for the Immigration Department to be more vigilant to stop the bitumen conmen entering Australia.

"These crooks have a free holiday in Australia every year laughing all the way to the bank as they rip off trusting home owners.

"These fraudsters make Al Capone look like an honourable citizen."

Cr Tully said householders with any information about the gang should contact the Office of Fair Trading on 13 74 68 or his office at Goodna on 3818 6900.

The Queensland Office of Fair Trading warns consumers against these itinerant bitumen conmen on their website at www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au/itinerant-bitumen-layers.htm

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