Before the district court of Antwerp, 33 clients of a driving school with branches in Deurne and Merksem are being prosecuted. The driving school had assisted them in their theoretical exam for their driver’s license with earphones and hidden cameras to whisper the answers into their ears.
“By committing fraud during the theoretical driving test, we do not know whether they know the traffic regulations and they pose a potential danger to themselves and other road users,” said the prosecutor, who demanded community service of 120 hours and 800 euros fine for defendants with a blank criminal record.
Limited knowledge of Dutch
The customers who had used the earphones and hidden cameras spoke no or insufficient Dutch to pass the theoretical driving test. A camera and a wifi device were hidden in their clothing, enabling someone at the driving school to read the questions on the computer screen at the exam center in Deurne. Answers were then whispered in via earphones.
€500 to €800 fines
The juridical investigation into the driving school started in 2021 and is still going on. When investigators researched the main suspect’s mobile phone, they found in it numerous photos taken by a hidden camera during the theoretical driving test.
The photos showed the computer screen with the participant’s name, date, and time. Inquiries were also made at the exam center for confirmation of this information.
Investigators were also able to identify fraudulent participants from the e-mail address they used to register for the theoretical driving test. The driving school had done this for all customers using the same e-mail address. If they passed the exam, they had to pay the driving school between 500 to 800 euros. 33 customers were eventually identified.
One of the most demanding countries
The verdicts of the first 17 cases will be delivered on March 22nd. The second theme session on the remaining cases will also follow then.
Last week, it was revealed that more than eight out of ten Flemish drivers would flunk their theoretical driving test if they were to take it again. According to Zutobi, an international player in driving courses, Belgium is among the most demanding nations to pass a driving test.
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