A traffic commissioner has warned operators that their repute is in jeopardy if they have improperly obtained coronavirus relief loans, after finding one haulier wrongly received £50,000.

West Midlands TC Nick Denton found Coventry-based Amazon contractor Mafuwer Logistics had applied for a bounce back loan despite its turnover falling far below the £200,000 threshold to qualify.

The company and sole director Harun Omar appeared at a PI in Birmingham after the central licensing office (CLO) noted that almost all of the haulier’s financial resources had been provided by the £50,000 loan in May 2020.

In addition, the CLO said scrutiny of Mafuwer Logistics’ bank statements revealed that the loan appeared to have been used to fund the director’s personal expenditure, including shoes, food and tax for two cars that belonged to Omar.

Denton said: “This is not the first case I have come across where a bounce back loan appears to have been improperly obtained.

“I know that at the height of the pandemic banks did not always have the opportunity to check whether applicants qualified for the level of loan applied for.

“Nevertheless, if I find that companies or individuals have been untruthful about their turnover when applying for a loan, I will draw adverse conclusions about good repute.”

The TC also said he had seen a tendency among some companies to fund personal expenditure from the company’s accounts: “Directors may withdraw money from the company in only three ways: salary, dividends or a properly documented director’s loan, which must be repaid,” he said.

“They can’t just use the company debit card to fund personal shopping, holidays and so on.

“This is tax evasion and will harm good repute.”

Having found that Mafuwer Logistics lacked good repute, the TC revoked its licence.