On Sidelines

Marius Vasile Gheres was a director of the company up until the 1 November 2023 when his name was removed from the record held at Companies House. On the 28 December 2023 his name was removed from the operator licence record.

The deputy commissioner heard of numerous drivers' hours and tachograph failures, including one occasion when Dorin Bumb had exceeded four and a half hours driving by three hours and 40 minutes. He had also failed to keep records of time spent when working as a Director, Transport Manager or in any other capacity.

The deputy commissioner said "can the operator be trusted going forward? Despite the promises by Mr Bumb to "do better" I am unable to answer this question positively. The failure to analyse records effectively, the ongoing failings in maintenance and the apparent inability on the part of Mr Bumb to manage his own driving hours lead me to the conclusion that I cannot trust Mr Bumb and therefore the operator to be compliant."

Commissioner Baker revoked the licence and found that Mr Bumb no longer has repute as a transport manager. He was disqualified from holding a licence in any capacity for one year and as a transport manager for two years.

Mr Gheres said that Mr Bumb was his half-brother and the company had been jointly set up in 2016. The relationship between him and Mr Bumb broke down in 2022 and it was agreed in November of that year that Mr Gheres would cease being involved in the company. In return for keeping the business Mr Bumb agreed to transfer ownership in a piece of land to Mr Gheres. As this transfer had not taken place Mr Gheres had remained as a director until November 2023 but played no part in the operation of the business. The promised transfer of land had not taken place after November 2023 and legal action had commenced. This had resulted in a new company being set up, Gheres Limited and the sole purpose of this company was as a vehicle for the transfer to take place. The removal of Mr Gheres as a director in November 2023 on the Companies House record was done by Mr Bumb without the knowledge of Mr Gheres.

As Mr Gheres was involved in another operation, MAG Haulage Limited, the results of this enquiry might have further consequences.

The deputy commissioner said "I find that whilst he was wrong to allow himself to be named as a director after 2022, he is not culpable in relation to the compliance failings of the operator. I can draw the distinction suggested by Mr Davies and find that he was not a director "on the sidelines" who could step in at any time. There was also nothing brought to his attention that alerted him to the need to take action as a director. He remained on the record for the purpose of the land transfer and for all other purposes was no longer part of the business. I do however record a formal warning against him for the failure to remove his name from the directorship and the licence when he should have done."

The full written decision can be found here.

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