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Gang used “plants” to sit driving tests and forged all kinds of documents 

PAGE 17 Gang used plants to sit  driving tests

Police have made 64 arrests following an investigation into a criminal organisation which forged identity documents and used “doubles” to sit driving tests.

The joint operation was carried out by Spain’s National Police and the Mossos d’Escuadra. All suspects arrested are of sub-Saharan origin.

Part of their service was to provide someone to fraudulently obtain driving licences for 2,000 euros. They also manufactured any type of document for sale among the Ghanaian community in Spain, charging 600 euros for a passport, 300 euros for a residence permit or 150 euros for a certificate.

The investigations began at the end of 2016 when police raided the theoretical exam room of the Provincial Traffic Headquarters of Tarragona to verify the documents pre-sented by the applicants to obtain a driving licence. There they detected irregularities in the foreigner identity card of a citizen of Ghana as it was a false document with which another citizen of that country was identified.

As a result of a detailed analysis of this case, the investigators discovered the existence of a criminal plot dedicated to the forgery of documents to perform theoretical driving tests. They usurped the identity of the applicant and, therefore, incurred the alleged commi-ssion of several crimes, such as falsifying documents, misappropriation of civil status and crimes against road safety, since they obtain the card fraudulently without the theoretical and practical knowledge necessary.

On some occasions, if aspirant and usurper had similar physical features, the latter was presented with the real document of the first.

Mainly, the clients were people who needed to acquire the card quickly, who did not speak the language or who did not want to study.

Another branch of the organisation was responsible for producing and selling a large number of falsified documents of various kinds – passports, birth certificates, criminal certificates, stamps for legalisation – distributed mainly to the Ghanaian community in Spain and for those who requested various amounts of money . These documents were used to acquire new identities in Spain, obtain residence permits in our country or request any type of aid and state, autonomous or municipal benefits.

They also cloned the bank cards used by the supplanters to purchase the transport tickets when they travelled to the different Provincial Traffic Offices.

The investigation, which is still open, has resulted in the arrest of 46 people in Madrid (10), Barcelona (16), Murcia (2), Logroño (2), Vizcaya (3), Zaragoza (7), Burgos (2), Alicante (1), Las Palmas (1), Almería (1) y Lleida (1).