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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:54 am 
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Hundreds of London minicabs could be 'working illegally'

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-50224595

Hundreds of London minicab drivers may be working fraudulently after buying qualifications, the BBC has found.

Drivers must sit mandatory exams to get a licence. But a BBC undercover investigation has exposed colleges cheating the required tests.

Transport for London (TfL) said it would immediately investigate at least 1,667 applications in light of the evidence. TfL, the licensing authority, said it was "deeply concerned" by the findings.

Taxi booking firms such as Uber have seen the number of private hire vehicle licences in use that were issued in the capital surge by 86% between 2011 and 2018, from 61,200 to 113,645.

Under the cab application process, along with a criminal record check and medical test, drivers must sit a topographical exam and an English test at one of eight official TfL testing centres.

Evidence of these exams can also be also accepted via other qualifications including BTecs, which are usually sat at private colleges and centres.

The qualification can be used to gain a minicab licence from many councils across the UK.

One of these colleges, Vista Training Solutions in Newham, east London, offered to take the tests for several BBC researchers for £500 per BTec.

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Secret recordings show manager Gerti Qamili accepting money to cheat exams

At a mandatory English and maths assessment answers were read out to eight candidates taking the BTec fraudulently. Registers were falsified before the online BTec exam was taken by the managers on the candidates' behalf.

The researcher, who had neither attended any classes nor completed an exam, received a BTec level two certificate in Introduction to the Role of the Professional Taxi and Private Hire Driver.

Another undercover BBC researcher, who had also done nothing other than pay, subsequently received a certificate stating he had passed his BTec level two.

Vista was one of the several centres the BBC heard was facilitating fraudulently obtained qualifications. During undercover filming Gerti Qamili, a college manager, bragged he had helped "over 300 students" fraudulently achieve the qualification.

The scam had been successfully winning licences from TfL for more than two years, Mr Qamili said. He warned the researchers "not to tell anyone that someone does the test for you".

Vista Training Solutions has received more than £1.5m since 2018 for apprenticeships.

Ofsted singled out the college for "ensuring that the training meets the needs of the industry" in a monitoring report in December last year.

Image
Abdalla Jamac was filmed handing out answers to a test during undercover filming at Vista Training Solutions

Caroline Pidgeon, deputy chair of London's Transport Committee, said: "Passengers are getting into those vehicles, and they need to know they're safe. "To hear parts of that are being forged around London, that's not right, that's really worrying and TfL need to get a grip on this."

Helen Chapman, a director at TfL, said: "It is deeply concerning to learn that some colleges or schools could be illegally providing certificates.

"We will support the relevant authorities with any wider investigations into these organisations. We will take immediate action against any driver identified as fraudulently obtaining a licence."

TfL said all new applications in which the topographical test had been taken at a private college rather than at one of its eight official examination centres had now been put on hold.

Vista Training Solutions said it was shocked by the allegations, which it said would be a violation of its policies, as well as a crime and said it would be launching its own internal investigation.

Mr Qamili and Abdalla Jamac, who the companied claimed were responsible for the BTec level two taxi course, are no longer working at Vista.

Both were contacted by the BBC but refused to comment.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:58 am 
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Helen Chapman, a director at TfL, said: "It is deeply concerning to learn that some colleges or schools could be illegally providing certificates.

Then she must be the most naive person working within the M25.

Anyone who is 'deeply shocked' at the contents of the BBC's article isn't living in the real world.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:35 am 
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Liverpool a couple of weeks ago, now London, where next? [-X

(Not that I'm suggesting the two are the same, only that problems identified with the external Liverpool testing meant that it had to be brought back in-house.)


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:53 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
Quote:
Helen Chapman, a director at TfL, said: "It is deeply concerning to learn that some colleges or schools could be illegally providing certificates.

Then she must be the most naive person working within the M25.

Anyone who is 'deeply shocked' at the contents of the BBC's article isn't living in the real world.


AND SHE IS A FU88ING LIAR I TOLD GER TOO HER FACE ABOUT THIS MALARKY 6 YEARS AGO COULD ADD MUCH MORE BUT HAVE NO WISH TO SEE THE SITE BEING SUED

IE NAME MANY PROPRIETORS WHO REGULARLY INDULGE IN THIS FRAUDULENT ACTIVITY................WELL WILLING TO NAME THEM ON WHATS APP =D> =D>

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:54 pm 
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trotskys twin wrote:
Sussex wrote:
Quote:
Helen Chapman, a director at TfL, said: "It is deeply concerning to learn that some colleges or schools could be illegally providing certificates.

Then she must be the most naive person working within the M25.

Anyone who is 'deeply shocked' at the contents of the BBC's article isn't living in the real world.


AND SHE IS A FU88ING LIAR I TOLD GER TOO HER FACE ABOUT THIS MALARKY 6 YEARS AGO COULD ADD MUCH MORE BUT HAVE NO WISH TO SEE THE SITE BEING SUED

IE NAME MANY PROPRIETORS WHO REGULARLY INDULGE IN THIS FRAUDULENT ACTIVITY................WELL WILLING TO NAME THEM ON WHATS APP =D> =D>


OR FACE TO FACE :badgrin: :badgrin: :badgrin: :badgrin:

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:37 pm 
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No surprises there then let millions of people flood into the country from countries where corruption is a way of life and low and behold how do they behave :roll:

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 5:13 pm 
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edders23 wrote:
No surprises there then let millions of people flood into the country from countries where corruption is a way of life and low and behold how do they behave :roll:

SUPPORTED BY THE MAYOR OF LONDON AT THE TIME BORIS JOHNSON AND OF COURSE THE PROPRIETORS OF THE PH INDUSTRY AND THEIR TRADE BODIES IE THE LPHCA :badgrin:

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:28 pm 
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I thought this was old news and typical of uk authorities.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:10 pm 
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rayggb wrote:
I thought this was old news and typical of uk authorities.


Typical yes :D old news no a recent BBC programme revealed just how wide spread it is currently ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,i reckon theres 20000 drivers in London who didn't and couldnt pass the Topographical test and who cares certainly NOT the LPHCA or that ponce Sadiq Khan :evil: :evil:

WOT YER GONNA DO ABOUT IT .................................GMB PDB LED BY TINION THE EX ARMY GROVELLER AND BLACK CAB DRIVER ................ANOTHER PIECE OF S88T!!

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:04 pm 
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TfL announces 'urgent review' of London minicab drivers

Transport for London has announced an "urgent review" after the BBC found thousands of London minicab drivers may be working fraudulently.

Drivers must sit mandatory exams at TfL centres or authorised private schools or colleges to get a licence. A BBC undercover investigation exposed private colleges cheating the required tests.

TfL, the licensing authority, said it was investigating 3,700 certificates issued by private bodies. It said this represented just three per cent of minicab drivers in Greater London who had been licensed by a private college under TfL exemption rules.

Deputy mayor for transport Heidi Alexander said: "We're doing an urgent review of every single minicab driver who's been issued a licence through this exemption route." She said the review would be completed "by the end of next week".

The growth in taxi booking firms such as Uber has led to an 86 per cent surge in the number of private hire vehicle licences issued in the capital. Between 2011 and 2018, the amount has risen from 61,200 to 113,645.

Under the cab application process, along with a criminal record check and medical test, drivers must sit a topographical exam and an English test at one of eight official TfL testing centres.

Evidence of these exams can also be accepted via other qualifications, including BTecs, which are usually taken at private colleges and centres. The qualification can be used to gain a minicab licence from many councils across the UK.

Employees at one of these colleges, Vista Training Solutions in Newham, east London, offered to take the tests for several BBC researchers for £500 per BTec.

Helen Chapman, TfL's director of licensing, regulation and charging, said: "We have put any applications on hold from those candidates who have not taken a topographical assessment in a TfL centre and are conducting an urgent investigation into drivers licensed with this exemption from Vista Training Solutions, based on the broadcast footage.

"We are working with the regulator Ofqual, who regulate the qualifications, and Pearson, the examining board, to be assured this fraud has only taken place at a single college. "We are also reviewing whether to remove this exemption in its entirety."

Pearson said it was looking into the allegations and was "making the police aware of the situation". Ofqual said it was "closely monitoring Pearson's investigation".

Vista Training Solutions said it was "devastated to learn that such malpractice took place" and apologised "unreservedly". Anyone "concerned they are not properly qualified to drive a taxi" can retake the programme free of charge, it said.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:05 pm 
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Deputy mayor for transport Heidi Alexander said: "We're doing an urgent review of every single minicab driver who's been issued a licence through this exemption route." She said the review would be completed "by the end of next week".

But what are they going to do?

Drivers who did do dodgy stuff are not going to put their hands up?

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 9:53 pm 
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Taxi association make formal allegations of fraud to police following minicab licence investigation

https://www.taxi-point.co.uk/post/taxi- ... estigation

The Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA) has written to the Commissioner of Police making formal allegations of fraud against college examiners and Private Hire (PH) drivers.

The LTDA has also contacted the Deputy Mayor for Transport asking for all testing to be brought in-house at Transport for London (TfL).

The letters follow the BBC investigation into hundreds of minicab drivers who could be working fraudulently after purchasing the required qualifications to become a private hire driver.

Researchers on the show were seen to buy qualifications at one east London college, which included BTecs, for fees of £500.

Steve McNamara, General Secretary of the LTDA, said in his editorial in the Taxi Magazine: “It is high time that TfL recognised there is a hardcore element of cowboys and swindlers within the PH trade with a cavalier attitude to safety, operators as well as drivers, and bring in ever more stringent checks and protocols to stop the scams and keep Londoners safe.

“The program showed clear evidence of mass fraud, not just by the staff at the college that sold the certificates but by the minicab drivers who paid the money to get the ‘qualification’ without actually doing anything other than turning up.”

He added: “This is a serious matter for the police to investigate and I have written to the Commissioner asking that she appoint an investigating officer as a matter of urgency.”

In the letter dated 7 November and addressed to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, McNamara said: “I would ask that you treat this letter as a formal allegation of fraud against the examiners at the college featured in the broadcast and all the PH drivers who paid to obtain a certificate and then subsequently used it to fraudulently obtain a licence.”

In a separate letter sent to Heidi Alexander, Deputy Mayor for Transport, the following day, the LTDA’s General Secretary said: “The decision by TfL to suspend the acceptance of BTEC’s as part of the exemption process was a good one, but given all of the above and in the interests of public safety and confidence in the licensing process the suspension should be made permanent.

“To restore confidence and to prevent any more instances of this kind occurring again in the future any, and all, testing of any kind relating to Taxi and Private Hire licensing should only be carried out by TfL staff, at premises approved by TfL.”


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:00 pm 
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Suspect LTDA's complaint will result in same result as regards their last allegation of criminality - no action.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=33009

Then, although Uber's UK head misled the court, no evidence found that it was a deliberate lie.

Here there's probably more evidence of criminality, but suspect Met have bigger fish to fry, and will just leave it for TfL and the external examiners to deal with via licensing and disciplinary procedures etc.


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