The creativity of fraudsters is mind-boggling, and the lengths to which some people will go to in obtain money by illicit means a constant source of amazement.
The latest story relating to creative fraud has come in this week from the Guardia Civil, who have detained two Spanish nationals from Jumilla, in relation to a fraud connected with driving instructor vehicles.
Basically, vehicles, which have been used by driving schools have double control driving systems, one for the pupil and one for the instructor, enabling the teacher to wrest control from the sweating students in moments of dire emergency.
Once these vehicles have reached the end of their working life, they have to be reconverted to single control vehicles by qualified technicians in order to sell them on as standard second hand vehicles, the risk of back seat drivers being tempted to assume control too great for the safety of the general public at large.
These technicians must have special qualifications and only they can stamp the necessary paperwork to verify the work is completed to legal standards, and the vehicle must then undergo a specialist check in an ITV inspection centre, the whole thing being a fairly costly process.
The imaginative fraud instigated by the two residents of Jumilla was to manufacture a stamp similar to that given by an official ITV centre and forge the inspection paperwork, thus minimising the cost of the whole process.
An ITV centre in the neighbouring province of Alicante was selected, as this meant there was less chance of its validity being questioned in Murcia.
The vehicles could then be altered by less specialised, and supposedly, lower paid mechanics, and fake documentation prepared to facilitate the easier and quicker sale of the vehicle to a private buyer who had no idea what the official documentation was meant to look like.
However, all good, and bad scams have their day, and police were made aware that this practice was being undertaken when the purchaser of one vehicle tried to sell it on to somebody else, and fraudulent paperwork was detected.
Following an investigation into the paperwork trail, and tracking the vehicles back to the driving schools who originally sold them on, police were able to identify the individuals undertaking the fraud and arrest them, attributing the falsification of documents for seven vehicles to these two individuals.
Both are now awaiting the tender mercies of the Jumilla courts.
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