KZN testing centre staff arrested

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Durban - Three employees of a Phoenix vehicle testing station have been arrested in a police sting for allegedly passing unroadworthy vehicles.

The men face six counts of fraud and corruption. They were arrested at the Phoenix Testing Station in Aberdare Drive by members the Road Traffic Management Corporation’s (RTMC) anti-corruption unit and the Newcastle organised crime unit.

Police spokesman Colonel Jay Naicker said police had sent vehicles with known defects to the station, but they were nevertheless passed.

RTMC’s deputy head, Jody Pillay, said investigations revealed that of the three arrested, one was apparently tasked with obtaining new business while the other two would process certificates at the privately owned testing ground.

He said a roadworthy test normally cost R250, but unroadworthy vehicles would be passed as being roadworthy for R450. The alleged scam was not isolated, Pillay said.

“The problem is countrywide. There are fly-by-nights and there are continual operators. It’s all about money.

“They just want to turn a quick buck.”

Sudesh Ramdas, the director of Phoenix Testing Station, said the staff members would face a disciplinary hearing.

Pillay said further investigations were under way and the RTMC would approach the provincial government to have the Phoenix station’s business licence revoked.

He said it was possible that vehicles approved by the Phoenix Testing Station could be recalled to undergo fresh roadworthy checks.

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