A taxi camera scam left drivers and cab users at risk because of gaps in legislation, politicians believe.
The Herald on Sunday revealed last week that up to 800 cameras installed in cabs across the country were defective, leaving drivers and passengers without the assurance they were under security surveillance. Several incidents reported to police could not be solved because the cameras did not work.
The New Zealand Transport Agency acknowledged yesterday it first became aware of problems with the cameras in April, but said it had done all it was required to do under new rules stipulating in-cab cameras were mandatory.
Authority spokesman Andy Knackstedt said it approved in-cab systems, but had no powers to vet installers or monitor their performance. Police are seeking Yeuyingtan "Eric" Leng in relation to sale of the dodgy cameras.
And it is not just the boys in blue keen to find him. He was given permission to install Hikvision cameras under the company name I-Solution after supplying specifications to the authority - even though the only NZ-accredited supplier was Atlas Gentech.
Atlas director Steve Moss said it was important taxi users realised that not only was his company not involved in the installation of the defective cameras, they were not even Hikvision devices.
"Investigations ... have established that the products are not Hikvision products." He said they were instead inferior copies from China and his firm had "been dragged through the mud" because of Leng's actions.
"He saw an opportunity to con a whole lot of people and make a heap of money. Unfortunately he happened to choose the Hikvision name."
He had questions about the authority's approval processes he wanted answering. He had had to demonstrate his products to the authority, yet it appeared Leng had only had to hand over bogus paperwork.
Another man angry at Leng is Lintek Tracking Solutions manager Eric Lin, who operates in the industry and had been accused of being involved in the saga because of his similar name.
It appeared that Leng had used Lin's company name to seek customers and he was "a big fat liar".