It’s alleged that "persons of interest" were offering a service to drivers who may have been close to losing their licence, by agreeing to declare responsibility for a camera-generated infringement notice.
A participating driver would then pay the fine amount plus a fee to the service provider, with the benefit being that the party guilty of the traffic offence would not receive any demerit points from their actions - until now, that is.
Victoria Police established Operation Sidelining in July of this year to investigate such actions around the state’s Mornington Peninsula, with 75 declarations alleged to be false; dating back to March 2008.
Officers from Frankston, Mornington and Rosebud attended 20 addresses this week and arrested 15 people, with each interviewed and charged in relation to ‘make false document’, ‘obtain financial advantage by deception’ and ‘make false nomination’ allegations.
Police allege the group was collectively responsible for redirecting 40 demerit points, with associated fines totalling $7000.
A further suspect from Frankston was interviewed later in the week, suspected of 24 instances of demerit point trading involving 55 demerit points and $7182 in fines.
All 16 suspects are required to appear at the Melbourne Magistrate’s Court on December 11.
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