Translator jailed for helping people pass a driving theory test Translator jailed for helping people pass a driving theory test
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Translator jailed for helping people pass a driving theory test

The case of one man who helped candidates pass a driving theory test for buses and HGVs…

Say hello to Muhammed Saeed, an Urdu translator who helped potential HGV and bus drivers pass a driving theory test by developing a special code that helped candidates cheat their way through theory exams. An investigation into Mr Saeed’s activities exposed how he assisted candidates by agreeing a ‘code’ when providing the correct answers.  

DVSA officials began to suspect foul play as the popularity of the 40-year-old translator began to surge and he started representing HGV hopefuls looking to pass a driving theory test from as far as Kent, Luton and Bradford, despite being based in Birmingham.

Struggling to pass a driving theory test

At least three of Mr Saeed’s clients had failed to pass a driving theory test more than 15 times while one had been unsuccessful on 25 occasions until they sought out Saeed for help. An independent interpreter checked recordings of Saeed’s translations, discovering that he’d used and Urdu word meaning ‘you’ to notify candidates of correct answers.

Arrested at the Birmingham theory test centre in Dale End in July 2014, Saeed admitted fraud. At Birmingham Crown Court, Saeed was hit with a two-year jail term after pleading guilty to fraud on six counts.

Each of the 239 driving licences issued to Saeed’s clients have been rescinded – dating back to the very first incident in June 2008 – on road safety grounds. They will be required to re-apply for their licences and will need to pass a driving theory test legitimately.

Saeed is thought to have charged each client £120 for ‘help’ to pass a driving theory test for HGVs and buses.

DC Mark Calvert, the man investigating the Saeed case, said: “It appears that Saeed was establishing a reputation as a theory test ‘fixer’ across the Muslim community for anyone having difficulty passing.”

Prior to each theory test, translators are asked to read a vow which states that ‘I confirm I will not do anything to affect the integrity of the test and understand that by assisting a candidate I could be committing a criminal offence.’

DC Calvert added: “Saeed assumed it was easy money and that because the cheat’s code was in Urdu the DVSA and police would be unable to decipher the scheme. He was wrong and now he’s paying the price for his deception.”

Foreign language support now banned

In April 2015, foreign language support for driving theory tests and practical exams was scrapped as the DVSA uncovered that cheating through translators had become widespread.

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