A circuit that gave diplomas for 2,000 euros was dismantled

A criminal organization active in the issuance of false driving licenses and certificates of professional competence (PEI) was dismantled by the Greek Police.

Specifically, the Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and Human Trafficking of the Attica Security Directorate managed, after a thorough and systematic investigation, to dismantle a criminal organization, consisting of driving school owners and employees of the Transport and Communications Directorates, who through false certification – forgery, bribery and of the donation, they sought and succeeded in obtaining a driver’s license, people who – under normal circumstances – would fail the relevant exams.

For the case, 13 people were arrested on November 24, 2022 in Attica, including 8 owners of driving schools and 4 employees of the Regional Unit of the Directorate of Transport and Communications of Athens, while 58 more are accused. In other words, it is a large criminal organization, whose members had as their sole purpose the achievement of illegal and above all easy profit, disregarding the consequences of their actions.

Against them, as well as against 58 other people, a case file was filed for the -as the case may be- the offenses of the criminal organization, management of a criminal organization, usurpation of a false certificate, bribery and bribery of an employee for an omission that interferes with his duties, false certificate – forgery, breach of duty, money laundering, possession of genuine and forged third party travel documents and arms legislation.

In order to achieve their goal, they had drawn up a specific plan of action so that the candidates would pass the exams, making the most of the possibilities offered by modern technological equipment, such as earpieces, micro cameras and Internet data relay devices (wifi modem).

However, what is worth noting is that members of the organization did not hesitate to use intimidation tactics, at the expense of specific officials of the service conducting the exams, when they carried out intensive and surprise checks, resulting in the arrest of several examinees.

In total, it is estimated that, at least since March 2022, the members of the organization have succeeded in illegally issuing 340 driving licenses and Certificates of Professional Competence, making a profit of 680,000 euros.

Members of the organization sought out and contacted candidates who were unable to pass the exams, either because of ability or because they did not know the language. In this context, they were informed about the procedure, while the previous one of the exams they sent to the invigilators – employees, members of the organization, the photos and the data of the examinees.

On the day of the exam, they placed audio-visual devices (“louse” type headphones and a micro camera) in appropriate places on the candidate’s body and clothes, while inside a backpack or bag, carried by the examinee, they hid a data relay device, so that they could have a live image.

In fact, they made sure to give special instructions about the clothes that the candidate had to wear, so that the devices would not be detected, while they also had shirts with pre-installed equipment, which they gave to the examinees. In several cases, however, the transmission of the image was achieved through a “smart watch”, which carried a camera or was placed inside the protective mask against the coronavirus.

Then, during the exam, using this equipment, they directed the examinees and indicated the correct answers.

One of the characteristic elements of their action was that, in case the examinee was a foreigner and did not know Greek, they used an interpreter, while when there were more candidates, the member of the organization who dictated the answers, alternately activated the “call waiting” function.

However, an important role in the success of the whole process was played by the supervisors, who, by failing to perform their duties, contributed decisively to the reduction of the chances of the subject being arrested.

As it turned out, before the examination, each candidate paid – on average – the sum of 2,000 euros, knowing that part of it, specifically 500 euros, was intended for an employee of the competent Directorate of Transport and Communications. The rest were divided according to the respective role (school owner, mediator, interpreter).

From the searches carried out in homes, vehicles, driving schools and employees’ offices, among others, the following were found and seized:

  • 86,370 euros
  • 2 pistols and revolver
  • 117 parts of audio-visual equipment (micro-cameras, earpieces, shirts with equipment mounted on them, etc.)
  • 50 mobile phones
  • Lots of computer and handwritten notes

The arrested persons were taken to the Criminal Prosecutor of Athens, while the investigation, for the identification of other members of the organization as well as candidates who illegally obtained a driver’s license or Certificate of Professional Competence, continues.

Source: Autoblog.gr by www.autoblog.gr.

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