Undercover investigations at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) have established a licence racketeering network of officials and some deviants who issue licences to unqualified individuals for the personal monetary gain of those officials and deviants.
The 12-month investigation, which saw the undercover team of Tiger Eye visit some regional offices of the DVLA, established the breakdown of the system at the DVLA, making it easy for the team to procure licences for mentally and physically challenged persons, market women, expatriates, among other individuals, without going through the usual rigorous process of acquiring a licence.
It was a partnership project with the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL). The National Theatre will host the premiere of the film on the syndicate this evening.
Led by ace investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, the investigation saw the culprits, who were captured on video, take various sums of money to process licences for applicants, some of whom were not physically present.
From the DVLA’s offices at the 37 Military Hospital area, Weija, Tema, Ho, Tamale, among a host of other offices, the culprits facilitated the process of acquiring a licence, including asking an applicant who had sat in the written examination not to tick any answer. Interestingly, that applicant came up tops in the examination.
In Tema, for instance, the optometrist or ophthalmologist section of the licensing application form was filled without the applicant going through any eye tests.
Written and Driving tests
For applicants who desired to pass both the written and the driving tests, they had to pay bribes to get the required pass mark in the written test and an additional GH¢50 or more to the instructor to enable them to pass the driving test.
These are some interesting exchanges between the applicants and the investigative team
A frustrated applicant: At some point I decided to pass the back door. I skipped every test, be it in traffic or theory.
Tiger Eye: It was a fair deal, wasn’t it?
Applicant: Yes, I think it is good. …… It is much easier for a person who pays a huge sum of money; he has a hustle-free process. At least with a valid licence I will earn a living.
It was established that some DVLA officials had in their possession official police station diary extracts to fill for applicants to indicate that applicants’ licences were missing.
Such officials then faked old drivers’ licences with the pictures of those applicants, making the process look as if it was a licence replacement.
The team successfully procured a licence for ace radio presenter, Abeiku Santana, without his knowledge at the Weija offices, although it was the old wine-coloured booklet type.
The team successfully acquired licences for a mentally challenged person, a physically challenged person and a man the team met on the premises of the DVLA near the 37 Military Hospital.
In Tamale, the team also paid sums of money to acquire licences for a physically challenged person, a market woman and a man whose picture was picked on the Internet.
Sums of money ranging between GH¢150 and GH¢500 exchanged hands at various stages of the investigations between the team, on the one hand, and officials of the DVLA and the deviants who operate at the DVLA offices, on the other.