He sang about jail and that gangster life. But, Punjabi Singer Love Brar then pleaded not to be sent to prison. His ill-gotten gains which funded his music all of sudden came back to bite the Punjabi singer Love Brar on his backside.
Lovepreet Brar (or Love Brar which is his stage name) was sentenced to 11 months home detention. The reason for the detention? Taking bribes for driver licences. In some cases people who did not even sit the test were able to buy a New Zealand drivers licence and get behind the wheel.
In the video for his song ‘Jail’, Brar depicts a character who lives in a showy house, owns expensive cars, carries guns and has just been shot in the shoulder. It has had more than 8 million hits on Youtube. Yet, none of that was any good to him when a judge sentenced him after admitting a charge of obtaining by deception.
Brar worked for the Automobile Association as a customer service consultant – he processed paperwork and took money from people who wanted to sit their driver’s licence test. Judge Anna Johns said Brar was recruited into a group who were taking bribes in exchange for licences in 2014.
The bribe payers would often make contact with Brar by text message.”By way of a bribe payment, a price was agreed upon which was typically around $400 if the applicant attended and sat their IR or IF driving test. The fee rose to $550 if the applicant did not attend.
HGV licenses were also sold at $1500 and $2500 for a class two to five truck licence. “The scheme had the potential to allow people to drive heavy trucks on the open roads without having to sit the required test. Judge Johns said the applicants would then book their licence either online or at the centre.
“Once a time and date had been obtained. You would communicate with the corrupt testing officers who knew to pass the person, regardless of their attendance or driving ability. “The New Zealand Transport Agency operates a programme called Book 10 which produces a schedule of applicants and allocates them a testing instructor at random. But the group got around that by meeting in the lunch room.
For the first time, Love Brar has spoken about the incident that sees’s him under arrest, check out the video here:
Brar was involved in at least 107 corrupt transactions. They took place between 2014 and 2016. He received over $56,000 in bribes. More bribe money was passed on to his co-defendants.
The Crown pointed to the serious breach of trust. A large amount of money involved and the public safety issues. Brar’s lawyer, Steve Bonnar QC, said his client was relatively young.
He described the pre-sentence report as not helpful.”While there is a clear risk to the community as a result of the offending, I suggest it may be putting it a little high to suggest that ‘the potential for fatality is immense’.
“In sentencing, Judge Johns described Brar as a 25-year-old with potential. She gave him time off for his previous good record and his early guilty pleas.”And I end with a warning: Mr Brar, if you come back for any dishonesty offending, you will go to prison. Do you understand? Thank you, stand down.”