Tuesday, June 18, 2024

British Indian admits to taking driving theory tests on behalf of others

A 34-year-old Indian-origin man admitted to fraud after he took over 36 driving theory tests on behalf of other people, making up to 1,500 pounds each time, as part of an ‘organised crime’ ring across the UK.

Appearing at the Reading Magistrates Court on Tuesday, Satwinder Singh of Rheidol Avenue, Swansea, admitted fraud by false representation and possessing an article, the driving licence, for use in fraud, The Reading Chronicle reported.

The court heard that for over four years, Satwinder pocketed up to 1,500 pounds each time he took the test — which costs only 23 pounds — for people who could not speak English.

Holding a driving licence under the name of Amritpal Singh, Satwinder targeted locations across the UK, including Reading, Manchester, Sheffield, Southgate, Oxford, Aylesbury, Guildford, Staines and Bristol.

After the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) put out a picture of Satwinder and notified centres throughout the country in 2019, he was spotted at a theory test centre on June 6 from where he was arrested.

The prosecution told the court that a member of staff at the Pearson test centre in Reading noticed Satwinder enter the building, where he said he was Amritpal Singh and produced a driving licence in that name.

“He was pretending to be the person on the licence. Despite knowing he was not the person on the licence, the member of staff admitted him to do the test in order to call the police and allow time for them to arrive,” prosecutor Deborah Specter was quoted as saying by The Reading Chronicle.

After police arrived, Singh continued to identify himself as Amritpal Singh but police found the keys to a Range Rover car, which was registered under his real name.

Specter told the court that Satwinder had admitted offences of impersonating genuine test candidates for payment at Pearson and Reed test centres.

“The profits made by people involved in this activity by impersonation are huge and often could be described as organised crime,” she added.

Magistrates have sent Satwinder’s case to the Crown Court for a date to be decided for his next hearing.

The Reading Magistrates Court bailed him on condition that he will not attend any Reeds or Pearson driving theory test centres.

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