Eleven people appeared in court charged with taking part in a conspiracy to undertake fraudulent driving tests on Wednesday (4 April).
Peterborough Crown Court was packed as 11 defendants - nine men and two women - appeared and were charged with fraud by false representation.
The defendants from Peterborough, London, Leicester and Essex are alleged to have taken part in a conspiracy where some of them took driving tests for others at driving test centres across the country, including in Peterborough, Nottingham and Skegness.
Velu Kamalanthan (44), of Wolfencroft, London; Anura Sinnamani (31), of Huggett Close, Leicester; Francis Savarimuthu (41), of Althorpe Way, Essex; Kuganathan Balasubramaniam (43), of Padholme Road, Peterborough; Kanagan Rasalingam (35), of Tirrington, Bretton, Peterborough; Manchol Sritharan (34), of Tiverton Road, Enfield, London; Premini Kamalanathan (23), of Tirrington, Bretton, Peterborough; Ravi Gnanseelan (28), of Lawrence Road, London; Suresh Sivarajah (37), of Streatfield Avenue, London; Thangavel Jeyaseelan (32), of Carlyle Road, London and Sritharan Ponnuthuray (45), of Tiverton Road, Enfield, London sat in the public gallery rather than the dock with four Tamil interpreters translating as the charge was read to them yesterday.
There were also seven barristers in court, meaning it was standing room only for the public.
None of the defendants, who are all of Sri Lankan descent, indicated whether they would be entering a guilty or not guilty plea at the hearing yesterday.
Judge Nic Madge summarised the case by saying: “This is an alleged conspiracy to commit fraud. It is said to have involved some of the defendants undertaking driving tests, which misled the DVLA as to which people took the test.”
Judge Madge also warned all the defendants that they would not get maximum credit for guilty pleas if they entered them at a later date, or were convicted after a trial.
The next court hearing is set to take place at Peterborough Crown Court on Friday, July 13 when the 11 defendants will all be expected to enter pleas to the charges.
All have been granted bail until the next hearing.