Fraudster Swallaxadin Abdul Bashir convicted on 12 counts this time.

A man has been jailed for 28 months for trying to sit driving theory tests for other people just months after being released from prison, where he has served three previous sentences for similar crimes.

Swallaxadin Abdul Bashir attempted to sit tests impersonating applicants at 12 locations across England between October 2018 and August 2019, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) said.

Bashir, from Coventry, was jailed at Warwick Crown Court on Wednesday after committing the offences in Nottingham, Scunthorpe, Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Gloucester, Cheltenham, Salisbury, York, St Helens, Cambridge, Southport and Manchester.

The fraudster was reported to the DVSA’s fraud investigation team after theory centre staff had suspicions that he was adopting the identities of genuine candidates to take the tests.

Staff rejected all pass results from the tests that he carried out and in some cases he was turned away before taking the test, the DVSA said.

Bashir pleaded guilty to the offences at an earlier court hearing, which was told that investigators found evidence of people booking tests with him on his mobile phone.

West Midlands Police supported the investigation and searched Bashir’s home and another property connected to him, finding distinctive items of clothing that were captured on test centre CCTV.

Bashir had been found guilty of similar crimes on four previous occasions, first in February 2014 on one count of fraudulently posing as a candidate in a driving theory test in Wigan for which he was given a six-month suspended sentence.

Later that year he was convicted at Wood Green Crown Court for committing similar offences at test centres in London and was jailed for 12 months.

His next conviction came in July 2016 when he was jailed for two years on 13 counts of the same fraud.

Then, in July 2017, when on licence from the previous year’s conviction, he was given an 18-month sentence for identical crimes.

A court heard in 2017 that he would offer to take driving theory tests for people who had difficulty with the English language, charging up to £500.

Andy Rice, the DVSA’s head of counter fraud and investigation, said: “Theory tests are a vital way of assessing if people have the right driving knowledge and attitude to drive safely.

“Working with other agencies, we make every effort to prosecute theory test fraudsters and this significant prison sentence shows the impact of this work.”

Police are now hunting the people who paid Bashir to carry out the tests on their behalf

Article courtesy of the Independent