Blank paper logbooks that never made it to the shredder found their way into the hands of criminals, who have used the missing logbooks to steal 13 million pounds worth of car identities.
The thefts took place over the last two years; however 130,000 blank books are still missing. The blank documents have been used to forge paperwork for cars so that stolen cars can be sold on as legitimate vehicles. Unfortunately, customers who have bought a forged car in these circumstances are left with nothing – no car, no refund.
This is not the first time documents have leaked from the DVLA. The BBC reported on tens of thousands of documents that went missing in 2003 in similar circumstances.
Noel Shanahan, Chief Executive of DVLA, said: “we do sympathise with the situation that people have found themselves in, in finding that they have bought a car which turned out to be stolen”.
Clearly, the DVLA sympathises with the situation of customers’ who have bought a cloned car, saying that they have done all they can. But this statement is likely to be cold-comfort to those stung by the scam.
The Government body puts the incident down to a criminal act that will be dealt with by a Police investigation, which is now underway. Disturbingly, the Police have reported that the mistake could leave its mark for over 100 years.
Visit the DVLA’s web site to view serial numbers of the forged documents.