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‘Jail’ fame singer faces deportation for his role in cash for licences scam

A screenshot from Lovepreet Brar's video song 'Jail' - Kytes Media Source: Supplied

Lovepreet Brar was accused of pocketing $56,000 in bribes in exchange for 'selling' driver licences while he was working at the Automobile Association (AA) in Auckland, between 2014 and 2016.

An Indian migrant and a former worker at the Automobile Association (AA) in Auckland in New Zealand is facing deportation for his role in bribes for driver’s licences scam.

Lovepreet Brar had admitted to being the middleman for applicants willing to pay bribes to obtain their licences, in court last year. He was working as a customer service consultant with AA when the fraud was committed.

In September 2018, the 25-year-old was sentenced to eleven months home detention and he later gave evidence for the Crown against his two accomplices.

Mr Brar's deportation was reportedly ordered in April earlier this year, but he appealed the decision to the Immigration Protection Tribunal, according to Stuff.

‘Youtube sensation’

Originally from Muktsar district in the northern Indian state of Punjab, Lovepreet or Love Brar had migrated to New Zealand in 2010.

According to his Linkedin profile, Mr Brar worked in sales sector for various companies before he joined AA, where he was eventually recruited into a group of men involved in taking bribes, that included driver testing officers.

While he was out on bail, an encounter with an established artist from Canada paved way for his entry into the music industry in 2017.

Since then, Mr Brar has emerged as a popular Youtube star who regularly drops Punjabi pop videos on the platform, most of which have fetched millions of hits.

In his recent music video 'Jail', he portrays a character that has an opulent, but a violent lifestyle. The video has amassed over 8 million hits since it was posted on YouTube over a year ago.

The trial:

Mr Brar was recruited into the scheme by a driver testing officer during his tenure at the AA between 2014 and 2016, the court heard. Accepting his part in the scam, the singer told the court that he acted as an intermediary who brought clients to his aides. 

According to the court documents, the group favoured driving licence applicants who had paid bribes. If those applicants couldn’t be matched with testing officers who were part of the group, they "asked uncorrupted officers to go easy on them". 

The group also offered truck licences, the court heard.

In 2016, police officers searched Mr Brar’s house and informed the AA about the bribery scheme. He quit the job after the investigation began.

Evidence at the trial showed that the YouTuber had pocketed over $56,000 in bribes, much of which he received in his bank account and passed on the cash to the testing officers.

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