Illegal issuance of driving licences investigated

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is investigating the Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA) and the traffic division of the Royal Bhutan Police for alleged illegal issuance of driving licences.

While ACC officials said it is too early to comment on the matter, as they have just begun the investigation, RSTA director general, Pemba Wangchuk, confirmed ACC is conducting the investigation.

“I have asked the ACC to conduct a thorough investigation and come out with conclusive evidence,” the director general said. “The conclusion should not be based on any rumours but backed with evidence.”

He said that while there are many rumours of illegal issuance of licenses, they have not been able to prove it. “Just basing it on rumours would demotivate the officials here.”

It was learnt that the case first surfaced after complaints against traffic police constables facilitating illegal license issuance was investigated by the RBP. Police sources said that their investigation found that three constables had taken more than Nu 6000, 11,000 and 21,000 each from people who requested them to facilitate.

Police officials confirmed that they suspended the three constables involved. “The case happened four to five months ago,” a source said.

The source said that police then wrote to ACC to investigate the case.

It was also learnt that ACC, while investigating the case, found a racket where there were many professional driving (PD) licenses issued based on fake certificates of professional driving assessment labour ministry’s Department of Occupational Standards conducted with a private driving license company.

“I have asked the ACC to ascertain where the fake certificates originated from,” RSTA’s director general said.

Meanwhile, sources alleged that while it is difficult to prove, illegal issuance of driving license is rampant. “I recently requested an RSTA official to process my license by paying Nu 5,000. He asked me to wait as ACC is investigating the case,” a source said.

Sources said that while there are measures in place to curb illegal issuance, mandating three officials to countersign documents prior to issuance, it is not fool proof to manipulate it.

  Tashi Dema

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