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COPS TARGET CHEAP, FALSE LICENCES on Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:49 pm



Dwayne McLeod, Staff Reporter

The police say they are extremely concerned about the seizure of a number of fake driver's licences which were reportedly taken from Kingston motorists in recent months.

Top cop for the Traffic Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Superintendent Radcliffe Lewis yesterday told THE STAR that at least 50 such licences have been seized in at least eight months dating back to last year August.

According to the senior cop, investigations have found that one of these fake driver's licence can be purchased for a fee of $6,000 and can be done at two premises in the Corporate Area.

"We are investigating and are working on some very strong leads ... We have found out that they are duplicated at two places but we won't say much about the places just yet but we are going to sort them out," a tough-talking Lewis said when asked how the police plan to attack the trend.

slight difference

THE STAR was told that it takes some amount of expertise to spot one of the fake licences as like the original, they are also computer generated. There is only a slight difference in the texture of the material and this is what sets them apart.

"I have policemen who know what to look out for and based on what they tell me the texture of the fake licence is slightly different," he explained before adding that a number of motorists have fled both their vehicles and the fake documents when held.

Although unable to give an exact number off-hand, Lewis said a considerable number of Kingston and St Andrew men have been arrested and charged after being found with fake licences.

One such man, Sylvester Roper of a Kingston address was recently held in a section of the Corporate Area.

He was subsequently charged with forgery, uttering and possession of forged documents.

He appeared in court and was ordered to pay $150,000 or spend six months behind bars.

Other cases are also currently set to go before the courts.

The police say the situation is indeed alarming as the possibility exists that almost anyone can come up with $6,000, get one of the fake documents and put themsleves behind a steering wheel even if they had no prior experience in driving, thus putting themselves and others at great risk.

"This is a very serious issue and we won't stop until we put a stop to it. We can't be having people on the roads that may not have the slightest idea about proper driving ... It is extremely dangerous," Lewis said.

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