STA, 19 August 2019 - Slovenian authorities have charged more than 100 people, mostly Italians, involved in a scheme that helped lorry drivers bypass red tape and expenses involved in acquiring vocational qualification certificates in Italy, by allowing them to get one in Slovenia. Fines have been issued to nearly 40 people so far.
The Koper-based Primorske Novice reports on Monday that fictitious residence in Slovenia and fictitious labour contracts with Slovenia-based companies enabled the drivers to obtain vocational qualification certificates in Slovenia.
The Koper Administrative Unit became suspicious after more than 100 people moved their official residence to a single house in the small village of Gračišče in 2014 and 2015. None of the persons actually resided in the house.
Six people running the scheme, among them one Slovenian and nationals of Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, are suspected of hiring Italian drivers under fictitious labour contracts.
An employee at a local driving school is suspected of helping them pass the relevant test, Primorske Novice said.
The Koper prosecution has charged 109 people with certifying and helping to certify false declarations. So far, the court has issued 36 punitive order verdicts to Italian drivers and is planning to issue 70 more.
In all these cases, the court has followed the proposal of the prosecution to issue punitive order verdicts, meaning that there will be no trial, unless the suspects appeal against the decision.
Arraignments have been scheduled only for the six people running the scheme. So far two have taken place, with the defendants pleading not guilty to hiring Italian drivers and helping them obtain the vocational certificates.
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