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Harlesden great-great grandmother's belongings vanish after paying businessman £5,000 for a container never shipped

PUBLISHED: 11:09 05 April 2019

Mildred Ross paid for a shipping container in 2013 that never set sail. Picture: Nathalie Raffray

Mildred Ross paid for a shipping container in 2013 that never set sail. Picture: Nathalie Raffray

Archant

A Harlesden great-great-grandmother is desperate to be reunited with her belongings - which vanished after she paid a businessman nearly £5,000 for a shipping container five years ago.

Mildred Ross gave Jason Herman Menczer of Cre8 Self-Storage Ltd £4,955 in October 2013 for a 20ft container, and all its transportation and shipping costs for delivery to Guyana.

Due to leave on November 22 that year, the container never arrived. Instead, the 75-year-old has been told she must pay a further £13,000 storage costs which she says she does not owe.

An email from Mr Menczer dated January 2014 to Mrs Ross said: “I am pleased to confirm that your shipment has been rebooked for January 28 on the next available ship.”

He added the “delay” was caused by not taking the November shipment due “to the payment having being received uncleared” and a “busy Xmas backlog”.

The mother of four bought the shipping container at CRE8 Self Storage in Cricklewood Broadway. She was stunned to discover on visiting the store in 2017 that it was gone. Companies House records show the company, whose sole director was Mr Menczer, was liquidated in August 2018.

Back in 2013 the company told her she could drop off her cargo a week before the ship was due to sail. It allocated her three units for which she and the company had a key. It’s the last she ever saw of them.

Belongings included 12 packed suitcases, six large barrels, four trunks, a sofa, bed, new washing machine, cooker, double glazed windows, doors and personal mementos – goods all destined to go to her family in the South American country to make “their lives more comfortable”.

Mrs Ross, whose daughter died 14 years ago and who has five great-great grandchildren from her three sons, said: “They gave me a shipment quote and nothing happened. I paid for it. I did everything I had to do.”

She added: “When I think of things that I bought, it hurts, it really hurts.”

CLC Solicitors, representing Mrs Ross, has tried to contact Mr Menczer, and to date has been unsuccessful.

The email address Mrs Ross was given for Mr Menczer bounced when we attempted to contact him. According to Companies House, a Jason Menczer was the director of Mystoragebox Ltd, also headquartered in Cricklewood Broadway but dissolved in March 2017, while a man with the same name and age is the director of Herman Services Ltd in Edgware.

Enforcement documents published by Barnet Council show two complaints were made about a large steel shipping container being kept at the front of the property in 2009, but these were dismissed as it was deemed lawful.

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