Wednesday, January 16, 2013
TWO men have been jailed for their parts in a £200,000 driving licence fraud.
Kanakan Rasalingham, 35, and Kuganathan Balasubramanyam, 43, acted as ‘facilitators’ and provided licences, for fees of up to £1,000, without the recipient having to take any test.
Rasalingham’s wife Premini Kamalanathan, 25, also acted as a facilitator in the ploot that saw almost 200 theory and practical driving tests taken by unknown people in numerous locations around the Midlands and South East of England.
Peterborough Crown Court heard on Friday (January 11) that the licenses had been obtained for members of the Sri Lankan community, mainly from London and many of whom had been driving for months without any formal driver training or qualification.
Balasubramanyam, of Eastfield Road, pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation and was jailed for 14 months and Rasalingham, of Tirrington, Bretton, Peterborough, was jailed for two years and eight months after admitting fraud and money laundering.
Kamalanathan, also of Tirrington, Bretton, admitted money laundering abd was given an 18-month suspendeded sentence and ordererd to complete 150 hours of unpaid work.
Seven further defendants, who received licenses, pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation. They were all given six-month suspended sentences and ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work and pay £300 costs. All were from outside the county, mainly London.
DC Al Bassam, from the force’s Economic Crime Unit (ECU), said: “These convictions are the result of an 18-month investigation by the ECU and I hope they send out a strong message about how seriously this type of offence will be treated.
“The case was referred to us by a private company, Outforce Investigation, which is contracted to the Driving Standards Agency to investigate cases such as these and revoke fraudulently obtained driving licences.
“The facilitators were primarily identified after finding patterns in the use of their bank accounts, telephones and vehicles used in the driving tests.
“Financial investigation carried out by the ECU currently estimates that these facilitators were able to benefit to the tune of £203,000 for arranging and completing these driving tests fraudulently.
“Outforce Investigation are continuing to attempt to revoke the licences of any remaining candidates with fraudulent licences who did not form part of this case.”
Proceedings are now due to take place under the Proceeds of Crime Act to assess the criminal benefit the facilitators gained their illegal activity.