Hundreds of theory test fraud cases investigated by the DVSA

Published 10 January 2020

The organisation responsible for driving theory tests in the UK says it's training its staff to become experts in spotting cheats - with 645 cases of suspected fraud since April 2019.

Staff at the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) are taught how to identify impersonation or Bluetooth headset fraud, while a dedicated investigation team is on hand when someone is suspected of sitting tests fraudulently.

It comes as a Coventry man was jailed for two years and four months for sitting driving theory tests for other people in 12 locations across the UK.

Swallaxadin Abdul Bashir was sentenced at Warwick Crown Court on Wednesday 8 January for his 12 offences, which took place between October 2018 and August 2019. Bashir would charge £500 a time, taking the theory test for applicants who had difficulty with the English language.

This could potentially lead to drivers on the road who weren't familiar with the Highway Code - something the DVSA says it takes very seriously.

“DVSA’s priority is protecting everyone from unsafe drivers and vehicles," said DVSA's head of counter fraud and investigation, Andy Rice.

“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.”

After staff at a number of theory centres raised concerns about Bashir, he was investigated by the DVSA's fraud investigation department and West Midlands Police. During searches of his home and another property, they found evidence of text messages from people booking tests as well as distinctive items of clothing captured on test centre CCTV.

It's not the first time Bashir has been prosecuted for similar offences. He was also jailed for 18 months in August 2017, for two years in July 2016 and received a six-month suspended sentenced in February 2014.

Ongoing investigations are taking place to locate and prosecute the people who paid Bashir to carry out the tests on their behalf.


glidermania    on 10 January 2020

So this is the 4th time he's been caught and still he gets less than 3 years!

Engineer Andy    on 11 January 2020

Imagine my surprise at this article. The same has been going on in the Construction Industry regarding the SCSC system and testing for many years, though far more prevalent since in the early 2000s (I wonder why?).

focussed    on 12 January 2020

"This could potentially lead to drivers on the road who weren't familiar with the Highway Code"

Most of the the drivers on the road today are definitely not familiar with the Highway code!

gavsmit    on 13 January 2020

Where I used to live in London, the local driving test centre was inundated with people trying to take the actual driving test for other people too.

The people that paid him to take the tests for them are probably already driving around in uninsured / untaxed vehicles with cloned number plates so are immune from all forms of camera-driven automated law enforcement too, yet are the most dangerous kind of road criminal because they haven't actually passed their driving test!

What a lovely society us law-abiding civilians are living in today - we get penalised for straying slightly over the speed limit whilst watching the road rather than our speedo constantly, yet these unqualified maniacs can do whatever they like without ever being prosecuted for anything!

sherwenator    on 14 January 2020

more bobbys on the beat
less victimisation of motorists

AnnaBrwn    on 21 November 2020

I guess that more than half of drivers are not familiar with the Highway Code. When I've prepared for my exam, I use a lot of materials (e.g. and online tests. I'm sure that every driver must know road law and follow all the rules not only due to the penalty but due to the safety. I've got an excellent essay material on that theme. And, many people are sure that they control the situation and nothing bad will happen to them.

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