Six on trial over fake French driving licences ring

Six people have gone on trial accused of running a fraud ring that supplied fake French driving licences to people who had not passed the driving test.

Six on trial over fake French driving licences ring
Photo: AFP

The six, including a former driving school manager and several civil servants, are accused of supplying driving licences for up to €12,000 to people who had either never passed the driving test or who had their licences confiscated.

Their customers are said to have included Paris Saint Germain footballers and TV presenters, none of the customers are being prosecuted.

The scam was centred in the wealth Paris suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine and two members of the scam ring have already admitted involvement in procuring between 30 and 70 driving licences. The trial begins in Nanterre on Wednesday.

The process for obtaining a licence in France is complicated and expensive and involves at least 20 hours of compulsory lessons through an approved driving school.

Data released in 2019 by the road safety organisation Prevention Routiere showed that approximately 700,000 drivers – one in every 100 drivers on the roads in France – do not have a licence.

READ ALSO Non-Europeans can now swap driving licence for a French one online 

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Paris police rescue handbag robber from river Seine

Paris police on Tuesday fished a man out of the Seine river, which he jumped into after he rammed a car into a Valentino store and robbed dozens of luxury handbags.

Paris police rescue handbag robber from river Seine

The 24-year-old suspect smashed into the store around 2am on the high-end Rue Saint-Honoré, a police source said.

He grabbed as many as 30 luxury handbags and other items before attempting to flee in the car.

The man then failed to stop when a police patrol gave chase after spotting him near the central Paris Opéra.

He abandoned the car on Place de la Concorde at the end of the Champs-Elysées, the police source said, before plunging into the nearby river Seine.

But river police quickly fished him out and placed him under arrest.

A source familiar with the case said that the “entirety” of the stolen items had been found.

A second source told AFP that “around 30” handbags – which Valentino lists on its website at between €1,000 and €3,000 – were found in his car.

The suspect now faces an investigation for charges including aggravated robbery and refusal to comply with police, Paris prosecutors said.