Scrap dealers in one Australian state will no longer be able to pay cash for scrap metal purchases in a move designed by legislators to combat vehicle theft.
According to an online article by the Melbourne, Australia-based Herald Sun, the state of Victoria has banned cash payments for scrap metal after a new law was passed Sept. 19, 2017.
The Herald Sun article says scrap dealers who are found to have made cash payments could face fines as high as AUD$30,000 ($23,800).
The law is intended to make things more difficult for auto theft rings operating in Melbourne and other cities in Victoria, a state in southeastern Australia with 6 million people.
The law also forbids businesses from possessing or trading for “unidentified motor vehicles, and auto dismantlers and scrap yard owners “will be required to keep records of all transactions involving scrap metal,” according to the Herald Sun.
A state police official the newspaper quotes says the law is “closing a loophole” on “organized crime groups” by undermining their business model.
The police agency and an allied commission say their research led them to conclude that the scrap and auto recycling industries in Victoria were “highly susceptible to infiltration by organized crime” and that auto theft in Victoria increased by 27 percent in 2016 compared to the previous year and had increased by nearly 50 percent compared to five years previously.