Driving test translator jailed over 200 exam cheats

Learner undergoing the theory test In 2012 nearly 80,000 requests were made in the UK for foreign language voiceovers or interpreters

Related Stories

A Chinese translator in Birmingham has been jailed for helping 200 learner drivers cheat on theory exams.

Peter Hui was approved by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) to translate multiple choice questions in Mandarin for foreign applicants but was also providing answers for a fee.

On Monday at Birmingham Crown Court Hui, from Nash Square in Perry Barr, was sentenced to 12 months in prison.

Police believe the illegal practice made him up to £100,000.

DSA officials became suspicious when the number of prospective drivers choosing to be represented by the 55-year-old interpreter increased rapidly.

Start Quote

"Anyone who tries to circumvent this [theory test] process is putting innocent road users at risk"”

End Quote Andy Rice Driving Standards Agency

An investigation revealed Hui aided more than 200 candidates to pass by agreeing a cheat's code which involved him saying "shi", the Mandarin for "yes", before reading out the answer he believed was correct.

Hui admitted conspiring to defraud the DSA when he was arrested at the Birmingham test centre, in Dale End's McLaren Building, on 21 August 2012.

Police finance investigators are looking to recover illegally-obtained cash and assets from Hui.

'Pedestrians at risk'

Det Con Mark Calvert, from West Midlands Police, said: "This was a serious fraud that potentially put road users and pedestrians at risk by putting people behind the wheel of vehicles when they were not properly qualified or competent enough to drive."

Two candidates who admitted paying Hui, a 25-year-old man from Smethwick and a 45-year-old man from Highgate, admitted a charge of conspiracy to commit fraud and were ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work and pay £100 costs.

Their theory test passes were revoked.

The court heard how the younger man hired Hui on 3 February last year having failed his first theory exam attempt and hearing rumours that Hui's methods could guarantee a pass.

Translation service

  • Pre-recorded voiceovers in 19 foreign languages are available to candidates
  • Interpreters are available for other languages, and for the practical part of the test
  • Since 2009 nine people have been removed from the list of approved interpreters and 861 test passes revoked

They agreed the "shi" cheat's code and a fee of £120 before the test, and audio recordings later showed Hui indicated the right answer on 40 of the 50 questions posed.

The 45-year-old, a chef, was approached by Hui as he left the McLaren Building having failed his theory exam.

He agreed to a fee of £250 for the same system and went on to pass the test, even though Hui's answers were not always correct.

Det Con Calvert added: "He obviously thought it was easy money and that, as the cheat's code was in Mandarin, assumed the DSA and police would be oblivious.

"He was wrong and is now paying the price for his con."

Last week officers from West Midlands Police arrested an Urdu translator suspected of helping bus and lorry drivers cheat on theory tests.

A 39-year-old man from Alum Rock was bailed until September.

DSA's head of fraud and integrity Andy Rice, said: "Anyone who tries to circumvent this process is putting innocent road users at risk."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Birmingham & Black Country

Weather

Birmingham

26 °C 16 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    News headlines 11:58: Steve Hermon Journalist, BBC WM

    The headlines at 12:00 on BBC WM:

    • A former care worker from Birmingham has appeared before magistrates charged with seven counts of sexual assault and one of rape
    • Hundreds of thousands of school support staff and local government workers are going on strike in September
    • People in part of Birmingham claim students are turning the area into a shanty town - with too many people living in houses and litter everywhere
     
  2.  
    Signalling problems 11:48:

    Due to signalling problems at Barnt Green, all trains between Birmingham and Worcester are not serving Bromsgrove, Network Midlands reports.

     
  3.  
    Flood scheme plans 11:36:

    A new flood scheme for Perry Barr and Witton is being proposed by the Environment Agency.

    Members of the public are being invited to attend two drop-in sessions next week.

    The proposal includes a localised low level wall construction and wall replacement through Witton.

     
  4.  
    Cricket commentary 11:25: Richard Wilford BBC WM Sport

    Another glorious morning at Horsham for day three of Sussex v Warwickshire.

    Sussex v Warwickshire - view from the press box

    Hear full commentary online now.

     
  5.  
    Bus sex assault 11:16:

    Police have released a photo of a man they would like to speak to after a woman was verbally abused and then sexually assaulted.

    Man police want to speak to

    The woman, in her late teens, was approached by a man on the number 243 bus during the afternoon of 30 April. He got off the bus in Cradley Heath.

     
  6.  
    In the news 10:59: Steve Hermon Journalist, BBC WM

    Another strike by school support staff and local government workers has been announced.

    Members of Unison will walk out on Tuesday the 30th of September over their ongoing row over pay. Hear that story and others in the news at 11:00. Listen live.

     
  7.  
    M6 lanes re-open 10:50:

    Highways Agency tweets: All lanes now open on #M6 sb btwn J3A and J3 due to an earlier accident. Thanks to @Highways_Agency Traffic Officers and @warkspolice.Delays

     
  8.  
    'Terrific legacy' 10:39:

    The widow of Police and Crime Commissioner Bob Jones says the service today is to say "thank you" to her husband who spent so much of his life helping others.

    Sarah Jones says: "He was very good at listening. And then following it up and trying to do something about it.

    "All the letters I've had, at least half of them say say 'Bob did so and so for me'. It's helped us. It's a terrific legacy to have - that you've managed to help people."

     
  9.  
    Inside a helicopter 10:28:

    Ever wondered what it looks like inside a police helicopter? NPAS Birmingham tweets this 360 photo of the cabin.

    Inside the West Midlands police helicopter
     
  10.  
    Neighbour's arson charge 10:17: Birmingham Mail

    Neighbour charged with arson following fire at Coseley flats.

     
  11.  
    M6 delays 10:11:

    Two lanes of the M6 Warwickshire are closed southbound between J3a M6 Toll and J3, A444 (Nuneaton), because of an accident, BBC Travel News reports.

    Travel time is 60 minutes. Congestion to J4, M42 (Coleshill).

     
  12.  
    In the news 09:59: Steve Hermon Journalist, BBC WM

    Students say that claims they're turning some parts of Birmingham into ghettos aren't true.

    In the news at 10:00, we'll hear from a student living in Selly Oak who lives in a house with seven other people. Listen live.

     
  13.  
    Which sport? 09:58: Stephanie Barnard BBC Local Live

    The Commonwealth Games opening ceremony takes place in Glasgow later. To mark the occasion, and to have a giggle, BBC News has put together a short test to work out which sport best suits you. Answer the questionaire now.

    Commonwealth Games sports icons

    My closest matches are: Hockey - Rugby sevens and athletics (throwing).

    I did play hockey and throw shot put at school - though that was some time ago!

     
  14.  
    Teachers' 'Trojan Horse' review call 09:44:

    The council-commissioned review into the so-called Trojan Horse allegations "ought to be reviewed itself", teachers say.

    Ian Kershaw's report

    Members of the National Association of Head Teachers said Peter Clarke's government-commissioned report into allegations of a hardline Muslim takeover of schools was more thorough.

    The two reports differed in their conclusions, although neither found evidence of extremism in the schools.

     
  15.  
    Cricket: Sussex v Warwickshire 09:30: BBC Sport
  16.  
    Council meeting 09:15:

    Birmingham City Council health and social care scrutiny panel meeting is live online from 10:00.

    The agenda includes an inquiry session on dementia.

     
  17.  
    Summer fun ideas 09:07: via Facebook

    Wolverhampton Today posts: Looking for something to keep the kids occupied today (and throughout the summer hols)? Then check out the special activities taking place at Bert Williams Leisure Centre, Central Baths and Aldersley Leisure Village... more details here: http://bit.ly/1o3G3VY

    Summer fun at Wolverhampton leisure centres
     
  18.  
    News headlines 08:57: Kevin Pashby Journalist, BBC WM

    I'm reading the news bulletins on BBC WM this morning. The headlines at 09:00:

    • There's calls for restrictions to be brought in to limit the number of people who can live in one property - over claims students are turning parts of Birmingham into shanty towns
    • A fourth man has appeared in court charged with murdering a man in Sparkbrook at the start of the month
    • US intelligence officials say they have no evidence of "direct" Russian involvement in the Malaysian jet crash over eastern Ukraine
     
  19.  
    Metro delays 08:53:

    The Metro tweets: Midland Metro running with minor delays due to a tram failure in Birmingham

     
  20.  
    Bob Jones memorial 08:50:

    Friends, and colleagues will gather in Wolverhampton today at a memorial service for the West Midlands police commissioner Bob Jones, who died earlier this month in his sleep.

    Bob Jones

    Hundreds are expected to attend today's celebration of his life at the city's Civic Hall.

     
  21.  
    Speedway: Wolves 44-46 Lakeside 08:40:

    Speedway, Wolves' hopes of making the play-offs in the Elite League took another turn for the worse with a 46-44 defeat at the hands of Lakeside at Monmore Green last night.

    Ricky Wells was Wolves' top scorer with 12 points.

    Team manager Peter Adams says Lakeside were lucky to win after two of his riders suffered bike problems.

     
  22.  
    TOP HEADLINES
     
  23.  
    Baton guard 08:33: Halesowen News

    A former Wolverley CE Secondary School pupil is guarding the Queen's Baton on its relay around Scotland as part of this year's Commonwealth Games.

    The baton arrives in Glasgow today.

     
  24.  
    Cannon Hill Park 08:30:

    BBC Local Live's Ed Barlow snapped this picture of "tropical Birmingham" while running through Cannon Hill Park this morning on his way to work.

    Cannon Hill Park

    Share your Birmingham and Black Country photos with us - email, tweet or upload them on Facebook.

     
  25.  
    Slow traffic 08:20:

    BBC Travel News reports of delays of up to 40 minutes on the A456 eastbound in Halesowen between the B4183 Hagley Road junction and the B4043 Manor Lane junction.

    And in Birmingham there's slow traffic on the inbound A38(M) Aston Expressway and the A38 southbound and northbound around St Chads Queensway because of the tunnel closures.

     
  26.  
    Sparkbrook murder charge 08:13:

    A fourth man has appeared in court, charged with murder after a man was stabbed in Sparkbrook earlier this month.

    West Midlands Police say Sardar Khattak, 34, from Bordesley Green, has been remanded in prison.

    So far four men have been charged with the murder of Ullah Khan, who died from a stab wound to the neck as violence broke out between two groups of men on 2 July.

     
  27.  
    'Shanty town' claims 08:09: BBC WM

    People in a part of Birmingham claim students are turning the area into a shanty town - with too many people living in houses and litter everywhere.

    Residents in the Bournbrook district of Selly Oak say they're fed up with landlords turning properties into student accommodation.

    Hear more on this story on BBC WM.

     
  28.  
    Mostly fine and dry 08:05:

    Patchy low cloud will soon clear, to leave another mostly dry and fine day and it will become very warm or locally hot.

    Isolated heavy and thundery showers may move westwards across some southern parts in the afternoon. A high of 28C (82F).

     
  29.  
    Good morning 08:00: Stephanie Barnard BBC Local Live

    I'll be bringing you the very latest news, sport, travel and weather for Birmingham and the Black Country.

    If you'd like to get in touch, and let us know about something happening in your area, please email or tweet @BBCWM.

     

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.