UK Government

Driving Standards Agency: Driving test cheats given jail sentences

Press Release   •   Dec 15, 2009 11:03 GMT

Note:

The man we referred to as Mohammed in Friday's advisory note was charged
in the name of Abdullah today.

* Fraudsters made money by taking people's driving tests for them

* Pair are believed to have impersonated 43 candidates

* DSA welcomes prison sentences

Two fraudsters who made cash out of taking people's driving tests for them have both been jailed today.

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has welcomed the sentences handed to Ali Abdullah and Muktar Nuren, impersonators who illegally sat theory and practical driving tests for up to 43 cheat candidates in return for cash.

Following a detailed investigation conducted by DSA investigators and Greater Manchester Police, Abdullah, 32, and Nuren, 22, were arrested at their homes in July 2008 and charged with conspiracy to defraud.

The pair pleaded guilty to the charge and at Manchester City Crown Court today Abdullah was given a three year jail sentence and Nuren was sentenced to one year in jail.

The pair, both from Manchester, carried out the fraudulent tests across Cheshire and elsewhere between February 2006 and June 2008. They conducted theory tests at Salford, Runcorn, Preston, Stockport, St. Helen's and Ilford in Essex, as well as practical tests in Sale, Oldham, Bury, Cheetham Hill, Failsworth, and Redditch in Worcestershire.

A number of driving test candidates have been arrested in connection with the investigation and received police cautions. DSA will be seeking to revoke all licences obtained by illegal means.

DSA is committed to the prosecution of offenders in order to preserve public safety on the roads and the integrity of the driving test procedure.

Michelle Moston, Deputy Head of DSA's Fraud and Integrity Team, said: "We are very pleased with today's results because they reflect the seriousness of the crime. .People like Abdullah and Nuren, who impersonate at driving tests, present a real risk to all road users, as they provide an entitlement to drive to those who have not been assessed to show that they are competent to do so.

"In addition to obtaining the qualification to drive, many people seek possession of a full UK driving licence to establish proof of identity. Once obtained, that licence may also be used as proof of identity in a variety of other circumstances, such as obtaining state benefits and accommodation, opening bank accounts, obtaining credit cards and even undertaking domestic air travel."

DSA investigates all reported cases of fraud surrounding the driving test procedure and works closely with the police and criminal justice agencies to identify offenders and bring them to court.

For further information please contact Chris Lee at DSA Press Office on 0115 936 6135.

Notes to Editors:

1. The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) is one of the Executive Agencies that forms the Motoring and Freight Services (MFS) group, within the Department for Transport.

2. DSA's vision is "Safe Driving for Life" with a mission to contribute towards the Government target of a 40% reduction in riders and drivers killed or seriously injured in road crashes, in the age group up to 24 years, by 2010.

3. Information on road casualties is available from dft.gov.uk

4. DSA promotes road safety through setting standards for drivers, riders and trainers, testing drivers and riders fairly and efficiently, maintaining the registers of Approved Driving Instructors; Large Goods Vehicle Instructors; Fleet Trainers; Driving Instructor Trainers and Post Test Motorcycle Trainers; supervising Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) for learner motorcyclists; and driver education and the provision of learning resources.

5. DSA is a trading fund with planned turnover of £199 million in 2009/10, largely funded through fees and revenue from other road safety initiatives. It delivers tests from over 400 practical driving test centres and 158 theory test centres.

6. DSA employs over 2,700 staff, of which some 2,000 are driving examiners. In 2008/09 DSA conducted 1.72 million practical car tests, 84,000 vocational tests and 105,000 motorcycle tests. A total of 1.5 million theory tests were carried out. At the end of the year there were around 44,768 people on the Register of Approved Driving Instructors.

7. DSA was one of the first Government agencies to introduce an online booking service at direct.gov.uk/drivingtest

Contacts

NDS Enquiries
Phone: For enquiries please contact the above department
ndsenquiries@coi.gsi.gov.uk