BARRY HARCOURT/STUFF

A joint police and New Zealand Transport Agency checkpoint stopped a Alps Travel tour bus on State Highway 94 between Te Anau and Milford and found the driver did not have a bus passenger licence (file photo).

A tour company manager who arranged for an unlicensed colleague to drive a bus has lost his job and been sentenced to community work.

Xu Cao, 33, was general manager at Alps Travel in Queenstown in 2016 when he arranged for a driver, who had a personal emergency, to leave his licence and logbook in the bus for another driver to use.

He then arranged for a tour guide, who he knew did not have a bus passenger licence, to drive the bus.

The bus was stopped on State Highway 94 between Te Anau and Milford by a joint police and New Zealand Transport Agency checkpoint.

Defence counsel Peter Doody told the Christchurch District Court on Tuesday that Cao’s employment was terminated a month after the charge was laid and he no longer had anything to do with buses.

Judge David Saunders sentenced Cao on a charge of fraud for causing the driver to dishonestly use another driver’s licence for financial advantage.

He said Cao cheated the system and sentenced him to 120 hours of community work.

The driver of the bus, 23-year-old Suyan Qi, was also found guilty at the judge-alone trial in January. He was due to appear in court for sentencing or a discharge without conviction on March 16. 


 – Stuff

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