Translator charged with helping hundreds cheat on driving test
Published Wednesday, February 20, 2019 6:16PM PST
Last Updated Friday, February 22, 2019 5:18PM PST
An ICBC-approved translator may have helped hundreds of people cheat on their driving knowledge tests for a fee, CTV News has learned.
And now Amjed Jamo is charged with fraud in a Richmond courthouse, accused after an ICBC and RCMP investigation of leading hundreds of mostly Arabic speakers to the right answers with a series of codes and hand gestures.
Up to 300 drivers had to re-take their test, and ICBC decided to render some licences invalid. A quarter of the drivers that had passed failed a re-test.
“It’s disturbing,” said Kurtis Strelau of Young Drivers Canada, who helps drivers prepare for the road. “Driving is a serious business.
“This affects their decision-making, their understanding of the rules of the road. If you’re looking over here and the car is coming from over there, that’s a recipe for disaster.”
Jamo is charged with defrauding ICBC over a five month period ending on November 3, 2017.
That’s when his approved translator status ended, according to documents.
Outside the Richmond courthouse, Jamo told CTV News he couldn’t give an interview.
“Sorry, I don’t have time. I need to go to work,” Jamo said.
He’s not the only translator that ICBC’s Special Investigations Unit has prosecuted. In November, another man, Inderjit Singh Sandhu, of Vernon, pleaded guilty to making a false or misleading statement in connection to a smaller case.
An ICBC spokesperson said there are about 600 approved translators that can work in 50 languages and dialects, and the “overwhelming majority” follow ICBC’s Code of Conduct.
“We take our responsibilities for road safety and driver licensing in this province very seriously,” a statement said. “When violations of our Code of Conduct do occur, we are prepared to take whatever steps necessary to ensure our roads remain as safe as possible.”
“We are not able to comment on the specifics of this case, as it’s still very much before the courts,” the statement said.
This story has been updated to include more of the statement from ICBC.