A Co Tyrone haulier was sentenced to two years imprisonment suspended for three years at Belfast Crown Court today.
The charges related to a joint investigation by PSNI and Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA) into the operation of vehicles by Arnold Transport & Sons (NI) Ltd, 3 Gortgranagh Road, Newtownstewart, Co. Tyrone.
The owner and company director, Paul Arnold, 46, of Holmview Heights, Newtownstewart was sentenced to two years imprisonment suspended for three years for fraud offences.
On 20 August 2011, the PSNI conducted a joint enforcement operation with DVA that included the examination of vehicles owned by Arnold Transport & Sons Ltd. Following the execution of a PSNI warrant to enter/search several of the hauliers’ vehicles, a number were seized on grounds that tachograph interrupter devices had been installed therein and which had the capability of disabling the tachograph and speed limiter if activated. In addition, numerous tachograph records and various documents were also seized.
Detailed examination of the tachograph records was undertaken by DVA Enforcement Officers along with other documentation and data pertaining to the movements of the vehicles. Further analysis of this identified where rest periods had been recorded by the tachograph recording equipment, yet other evidence showed the continued movement of the vehicles.
In these instances it was proven that an interrupter device had been activated to enable the driver to continue driving by simulating that the vehicle was stationary and, as a result, false tachograph records were created. It was established that not only were these devices being used by his employed drivers, but that Paul Arnold had also used them while driving.
On an earlier date at Omagh Crown Court six drivers employed by Arnold Transport & Sons (NI) Ltd received suspended prison sentences of varying lengths.
Notes to editors:
1. The charges were brought under the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981