Palma town hall had to clear vehicles from the Son Toells municipal pound because it was overflowing with abandoned vehicles and there was little space for other vehicles to be brought in. The town hall also needs space in order to undertake work to ensure that the land and its use are adapted to environmental regulations. The Guardia Civil's Seprona division is considering a complaint about a possible offence against the environment.
At an auction last week, the owners of three scrapyards lodged a winning bid of 38,000 euros for a lot of 242 cars. They then checked the vehicles' documentation. The traffic directorate informed them that at least sixty were either stolen, had been embargoed or had been placed under seal.
One of the three says: "We won an auction for 38,000 euros plus IVA (VAT) and now find that legally we can't do anything with the cars. It is totally illegal for vehicles to be brought into our scrapyards to be sold or decontaminated if we don't have the correct authorisation from the traffic directorate. It turns out that Palma town hall sold us stolen cars."
The lawyer representing the three scrapyard owners had a meeting on Tuesday with the councillor for public safety, Joana Maria Adrover, and town hall officials. The meeting was, he says, "a disaster". "Firstly, we met the person responsible for the auction, who told us that he was just a subordinate and that we would have to speak to the councillor. A few minutes later, the councillor appeared along with the chief of police. She said that her responsibilities were purely political and that the auction was a matter for the technical staff. In other words, they were all passing the buck."
In addition to trying to annul the auction, the owners are looking at denouncing what are perceived to have been "irregularities" with the auction process. Four days before it took place they were sent a list of all the cars to be auctioned. Later that day, they were informed that a series of cars, "some of them high-end", had been removed from the list because of problems with de-registering them with the traffic directorate. "This now turns out to be untrue. We have verified that they could be de-registered. Very strange things are happening here."