CCC investigation into driver licence fraud leads to multiple arrests
In February 2014, the CCC began an investigation, Operation Danish, into the fraudulent issuing and upgrading of driver licences by a casual customer service officer at the Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR). It was alleged that between November 2012 and December 2013 the subject officer issued or upgraded the classes of 57 licences, including heavy vehicle class licences and personal watercraft class licences. This potentially allowed individuals to operate vehicles or vessels they were not qualified or legitimately licensed to operate, thereby creating significant public risk.
The subject officer allegedly received cash payments of between $150 and $1500 for each licence or upgrade provided. She allegedly ran the scheme with the assistance of three other people who acted as intermediaries by facilitating licences and upgrades for their friends and associates. It is also alleged that, when her employment ceased in December 2013, she attempted to corrupt former colleagues by offering them money to fraudulently process a driver licence application.
In the course of the investigation, 28 search warrants were executed, 40 fraudulent driver licences were seized, 85 “show cause” notices were served, and 42 criminal interviews were conducted with recipients of false licences.
As an outcome of this investigation, 48 persons have been charged with 155 offences including 87 counts of official corruption by the primary subject officer and three others. To date, 32 offenders have been successfully prosecuted, receiving sentences ranging from good behaviour bonds to imprisonment.
The CCC has also written to the Director-General of the DTMR recommending improvements to the organisation’s fraud control framework for the issuing and upgrading of licences.
Although the CCC’s role in this investigation has finished, a QPS investigation continues into the DTMR employee’s suspected legitimisation of stolen and re-birthed motor vehicles, caravans, vessels and trailers.