July 31 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, January 16, 2014
CCTV stills have been released that show a serial fraudster taking theory tests for learner drivers across the country.
As reported, Gurmeet Singh, 32, was behind a scam helping learner drivers fraudulently pass their theory tests between 2010 and 2011.
He was paid hundreds of pounds by dozens of learner drivers to take the tests for them, and was finally caught by sharp-eyed staff at King’s Lynn test centre.
At Norwich Crown Court on Monday he was jailed for two years and he will also be deported, as he has overstayed his visa.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has released CCTV stills showing Singh at test centres across the country, including one in Norwich, on December 29, 2010.
Singh looks suitably pensive in most of the stills, apart from one, and that is the one where he was eventually caught out.
In the still taken at the test centre in King’s Lynn on July 2 last year, he is smiling.
Singh returned to some of the centres on numerous occasions, turning up in stills at Crawley in Sussex on three occasions.
Staff at King’s Lynn test centre have since been praised for their vigilance in spotting Singh.
DVSA’s Head of Fraud and Integrity, Andy Rice, said: “This sentence sends a clear message that driving test fraud is a serious offence and will be dealt with accordingly.
“I am very grateful to our driving examiners as well as the staff at the theory test centres for all the help and support that they provide in identifying these offenders.
“Their efforts play a major part in reducing the number of impersonations that are conducted without detection.
“In this case, I would like to particularly thank the staff at King’s Lynn test centre for being so vigilant. Their actions have helped us maintain the integrity of the driving test.”
He added that the driving test was there to ensure that all drivers had the skills and knowledge to use the roads safely and responsibly.
“Anyone who tries to circumvent this process is putting innocent road users at risk,” he added.
“We have stringent measures in place to detect fraudulent activity and work closely with the police to bring all offenders to justice. Thankfully this type of crime is extremely rare.”
Singh’s arrest was the result of a three year joint operation between the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), formerly the Driving Standards Agency, and police.
Singh, of no fixed address, who had the help of a Punjabi interpreter at Norwich Crown Court on Monday, admitted conspiracy to defraud, between 2010 and 2011, and six frauds in 2013.
The court heard that Singh had done the theory test so often that he in fact achieved high scores and it was a case of “practice makes perfect”.
The going rate for Singh to take theory tests was between £400 and £750.