PAIR SENT TO JAIL OVER DRIV­ING TEST CON

Two Peter­bor­ough men have been jailed over a driv­ing test scam which net­ted them thou­sands of pounds.

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Front Page - By David Sey­mour david. sey­mour@ pe­ter­bor­oughto­day. co. uk Twit­ter: @ PT­david­sey­mour 01733 588732

A court heard how the men ar­ranged for im­posters to take tests on be­half of peo­ple who paid them as much as £ 1,800.

The scam’s mas­ter­mind Kana­gan Rasalingam, from Tir­ring­ton, Bret­ton was jailed for 32 months.

Two Peter­bor­ough men have been jailed for a to­tal of 46 months for or­ches­trat­ing a driv­ing test scam that net­ted them thou­sands of pounds. Kana­gan Rasalingam ( 35), of Tir­ring­ton, Bret­ton, and Ku­ganathan Bala­sub­ra­ma­niam ( 42), of Pad­holme Road, Peter­bor­ough, were among 10 de­fen­dants at Peter­bor­ough Crown Court for sen­tenc­ing in re­la­tion to the fraud.

Rasalingam and Bala­sub­ra­ma­niam had pleaded guilty to con­spir­a­cy­to­com­mit­fraud af­ter tak­ing pay­ment to ar­range­forim­poster­stosit­driv­ing tests on be­half of oth­ers, seven of whomjoinedthemin the dock.

Rasalingam, a f ather of an 1 8- month girl, had also pleaded guilty to ac­quiri ng more than £ 46,000 in crim­i­nal prop­erty.

His part­ner Prem­ini Ka­malanathan ( 23), of Tir­ring­ton, Bret­ton, had also been ac­cused of con­spir­acy to com­mit fraud af­ter banks cards and a car in her name were linked to the op­er­a­tion.

How­ever, the charge was or­der to lie on­file and she was only sen­tenced for ac­quir­ing crim­i­nal prop­erty - es­ti­mated at more than £ 56,000 - af­ter the court was told Rasalingam had con­trol over her bank ac­counts and car and used themwith­outher knowl­edge.

The of­fences were com­mit­ted be­tween De­cem­ber 17, 2008 and March 26, 2010.

Judge Murphy said: “The of­fences with which I have to deal with to­day are very se­ri­ous. It’s not sim­ply a mat­ter of money chang­ing hands and

Judge Murphy

“You were a mas­ter­mind of a

fraud.”

it’s not sim­ply a mat­ter of de­cep­tion be­ing prac­tised in or­der to gain per­sonal ben­e­fits. The sys­tem of test­ing be­fore award­ing­driv­ingli­cence­sisin place for a rea­son.

He added: “The Government has to be sat­is­fied those who have a driv­ing li­cence are ca­pa­ble of driv­ing in a safe man­ner on t he roads of this coun­try.”

An­drew Copeland, rep­re­sent­ing Rasalingam, asked for credit for the de­fen­dant’s guilty pleas and ad­mis­sion he had used his part­ner’s bank ac­counts and car for the fraud with­out her knowl­edge.

He also dis­puted the fi­nan­cial ben­e­fit to Rasalingam, ar­gu­ing some of the un­ex­plained de­posits in his ac­count were from le­git­i­mate sources.

Sen­tenc­ing Rasalingam to 32 months’ im­pris­on­ment, Judge Murphy said: “You were es­sen­tially a mas­ter­mind of a fraud which sought to un­der­mine t he sys­tem of driv­ing tests in a large num­ber of cases and that has an im­pact on the pub­lic be­yond any ques­tion of money.”

Ni­cola Devas, rep­re­sent­ing fa­ther- of- two Bala­sub­ra­ma­niam, said the de­fen­dant was

Gu­drun Young: “She was­not aware of the na­ture of this crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity.”

“re­morse­ful” and “clearly not the brains” of the op­er­a­tion, with un­ex­plained de­posits in his ac­count amount­ing to about £ 7,300 - sev­eral thou­sand pounds of which, again, would be from l egit­i­mate sources, she said.

Bala­sub­ra­ma­niam re­ceived a 14 month prison term.

Gu­drun Young, rep­re­sent­ing Prem­ini Ka­malana than, said the de­fen­dant only had sus­pi­cions of wrong­do­ing.

She said: “She was never aware of the na­ture of this crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity or what the fraud in­volved.”

She re­ceived a 18 month prison term, sus­pended for 12 months and or­dered to com­plete 150 hours un­paid work.

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