AN INQUIRY into predatory behaviour by tow truck cowboys who turned private parking lots into cash cows will follow the money trail to see who profited from their operation.
The State Government has confirmed the three-month independent probe led by retired judge Michael Forde will “explore the commercial arrangements for private property towing … and the possible influence arrangements may have in encouraging predatory practices”.
It comes as a former landlord of an inner-city retail complex revealed an arrangement in which controversial tow company Elite Security & Parking Enforcement paid the property owner $50 for each car towed from the site.
The Sunday Mail this month revealed the car park for the Central Brunswick convenience centre at 421 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley, used covert “spotters” who would tip off an awaiting tow-truck driver in as little as 10 minutes should a motorist park there and leave.
Some of those towed had parked then crossed the road to an identically named retail and dining complex. They were forced to pay up to $1000 to get their cars back.
Property manager Andrew Deane said Elite, owned by Christopher Kevin Addley, 38, was contracted during 2016 to provide security and parking services.
The complex had problems with unauthorised parking and security issues, including vandalism.
Mr Deane, a shareholder in the company that owned the property until it was sold in August, said he set down rules on who could be towed and set a $450 cap on fees.