Police urged to prosecute motorists possessing fake Brown Cards

The Ghana National Bureau of the ECOWAS Brown Card Insurance Scheme has appealed to the security agencies in the sub-region to prosecute motorists caught in possession of fake brown card under the local laws of the territory in which they are arrested.

Mr. Gabriel Glover, General Secretary of the Ghana National Bureau of the ECOWAS Brown Card made the appeal at a one-day capacity workshop to sensitise the security agencies on the operations, claim procedures of the Scheme, and the features of the new secured ECOWAS Brown Card.

“Counterfeiting of any document is a criminal offence in every ECOWAS country” Mr Glover reiterated.

The workshop was held last week at Eusbett Hotel in Sunyani and was attended by personnel of the Ghana Police Service in the Brong Ahafo Region.

Mr. Gabriel Glover said the role of the security agencies as partners of the scheme in safeguarding ECOWAS citizens and promoting trade in the sub-region cannot be over overemphasized.

He said in Ghana, the Road Traffic Act, 2004 Act 683 states that, “a person who issues or tenders a certificate of insurance, road use certificate, etc. which is false, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding 50 penalty units or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 8 months or to both”

Mr Glover further stated that the ECOWAS Brown Card Insurance Certificate is one of the required documents for vehicle being taken out of Ghana.

“All accidents are to be reported immediately after occurrence to the Ghana National Bureau whether verbal or in writing by the owner or the driver. The handling bureau on receipt of the a Report from the police or the Insured/driver, would check genuineness of the Brown Card from the issuing bureau, if  genuine, will ask the police to release of the vehicle if no criminal offence has been created.

“If the Brown Card is fake the user could be detained, his/her vehicles impounded while the laws of the country to take it due course”, Mr Glover added.

He explained that the Brown Card essentially is a territorial extension of the local insurance cover.

“This implies that the Brown Card motor certificate cannot stand alone or should be issued in isolation of an underlying local motor insurance cover or policy”.

He said the main objective of the Scheme was to ensure prompt and fair compensation to victims of motor accidents caused by non-citizen motorist visiting their territory from other ECOWAS members States.

 Hence, the system guarantees a motor insurance cover which leads to the realisation of the free movement objectives of ECOWAS.

Mr. Glover lamented that the existence of fake Brown Cards defeats the whole purpose of the scheme since victims of accidents caused by holders of fake Brown Cards cannot be compensated.

“The new Brown Card is a single leaflet format with security features that cannot be seen by the unaided eye. This is an improved certificate which is expected to curb the used of fake Brown Cards in our community”, Mr Glover hinted

He therefore urged the law enforcement agencies such as the Police, Customs and Immigration personnel to check at the exit and entry points the validity of Brown Cards because it is a security a risks if a vehicle without valid cover of insurance allow into our territory.

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