Home News Driving licences ‘for sale’ – eleven fraudsters sent to jail

Driving licences ‘for sale’ – eleven fraudsters sent to jail

Published on 13/12/2017

Eleven driving license fraudsters have received prison sentences in a judgment that has taken two and a half years since the trial started.

The corruption trial heard by judges in Bragança, has resulted in the conviction of the ringleaders who defrauded the State of around €5 million.

The court listened to 111 defendants, including learner drivers who bought licences, owners of driving schools and two doctors.

The court handed down 11 prison sentences to examiners and driving school owners, of between five years and three months and eight and a half years. Five of these defendants have been ordered to pay almost €5 million, the estimated haul from their illegal activities, and already have had assets seized during the investigation.

Among those convicted are four examiners who now are banned from their trade for periods of three and five years.

At least 25 defendants were convicted, but many received suspended sentences on the condition that they pay money to charities, a total of €150,000.

Among the learner drivers who paid to get a ‘pass,’ more than 30 received suspended sentences and will have to take a proper driving test before they can get behind the wheel again.

Two doctors who falsified certificates, have to pay fines of €7,200 and €5,400 for their crimes but escaped jail

Fines of between €4,800 and €10,800 were handed out to four driving school owners involved in the case.

The presiding judge read out conviction summaries as it would have taken days to read the entire judgment. According to the judges, the case was highly complex and probably the trickiest the Bragança court has ever dealt with.

Lawyer Miguel Brochado, who represented six of the defendants, said he would appeal the decision on behalf of his clients, although he was still to review the ruling and expects others also to appeal.

The trial has cost taxpayers nearly €50,000 in rent and other relocation costs as the case was heard in the Bragança Business Centre, the only place available of sufficient size in which to hold the trial.

The defendants were accused of various crimes, including active corruption, passive corruption, falsification of documents and the possession of a prohibited weapon.

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