LTA suspends officers involved in alleged taxi permit scam

January 31, 2024 4:48 pm

The Land Transport Authority has suspended three of its officers allegedly implicated in the issuance of taxi permits and number plates in the Western Division.

Acting Chief Executive, Irimaia Rokosawa says they recently became aware of a grave situation involving some of their staff members allegedly participating in the scam.

Rokosawa says they view this matter with utmost seriousness and assured the public that the LTA will not tolerate any form of corruption or fraudulent activities within the organization.

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He says preliminary investigations are already underway to delve into the specifics of the alleged fraudulent issuance of taxi permits.

As per Rokosawa’s directive, the LTA has reported this matter to the Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption.

FICAC has joined forces with LTA to conduct an independent and thorough investigation into the allegations.

The Authority believes in complete transparency, and the collaboration with FICAC ensures that the investigation is unbiased and impartial.

Rokosawa says the fraudulent issuance of taxi permits has had severe consequences, with approximately 90 taxi permits being illegally obtained through the alleged collusion of these officers.

He says an LTA retrieval team is actively working to recover and confiscate any illegally issued taxi permits and number plates linked to the implicated officers.

In light of this incident, the LTA is set to review and enhance internal systems, internal monitoring mechanisms, and implement robust risk mitigation strategies.

The issuance of taxi permits will now be handled exclusively by regional managers and team leaders to restrict unauthorized access to the process.

The Authority will also explore the implementation of an electronic system for the issuance of permits to eliminate potential loopholes in the manual issuance process.

The LTA unequivocally condemns corruption and collusion, and remains committed to maintaining the trust and confidence of the public.

The Authority also understands the impact of this incident on the affected individuals and the broader community.

The LTA is encouraging individuals who may have obtained taxi permits through transactions not undertaken at arm’s length or over the counter to come forward and report the matter to the Fiji Police Force, as their co-operation is crucial in assisting with ongoing investigations.