A 39-year-old man was arrested last Wednesday at the Marianhill Drivers Licence and Motor Licencing Bureau in Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal, and has been charged with fraud.
It is alleged the man made over R87 500 by writing learners’ licence tests for more than 25 people. The suspect is said to have charged each applicant R3 500 for writing a test.
Chief provincial inspector Lance Colborne, who has been working on cases like these for over a decade, said they had found about 25 tests which were written by the man but where he used different names.
“We identified a green ID book that had a picture pasted on top of the original identity photo. The photo of the suspect was on top of which made it look like it was his ID, but with a different barcode, name and ID number. We then realised that there were 25 more files with the same picture, but different names. I quickly recognised the man because I had arrested him before in connection with a similar case, but as an accomplice,” inspector Colborne wrote in a statement.
Inspector Colborne also explained how these scams work and how they will go about in catching the perpetrators who commit these crimes.
“The perpetrators come into the testing stations and write on behalf of the applicants and they don’t even take up to five minutes and they’re done. We’ll trace those who give these perpetrators their IDs to commit the fraud and find them and they will be brought to justice,” he explained.
Even though the man is suspected to have been cheating at several different testing stations around KZN, police can now confirm 25 cases in Pinetown and more arrests are yet to come as more files were identified with a single picture appearing in more than 20 tests.
Speaking to DRUM, KZN transport department spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane urged anyone who has got their learner’s licence illegally to hand themselves in to police, while they still can.
“This is just only the beginning, it will not be very long till we find the mastermind behind the whole scam, the Road Traffic Corporation (RTMC), the Hawks and our team are working extremely hard to get rid of this syndicate. We urge all those within the community to work with us by coming forward with information which will lead us to the mastermind of this syndicate.
“Whoever is caught red-handed by our investigating team and is somehow linked to this crime will be made an example of,” Ncalane warned.
According to the RTMC, the arrest was followed by the arrests of seven road traffic inspectorate officials in the Limpopo last Wednesday.