Guyanese police who supervise written examinations for vehicle drivers permits Thursday said they have uncovered a massive racket through which officers sold large amounts of test pass results for cash to thousands of drivers each year and will soon charge several cops with enabling fraud.
This is after several civilians who had worked as invigilators for tests during last week found major discrepancies in the number of people who actually turned up for the tests on April 12, versus a significantly larger number of test papers which were handed over to supervisors after the sitting.
A police statement said that a total of 174 persons had registered to take the test on April 12 but only 106 had showed up to write them. But once the testing period was over and papers handed in, civilian supervisors counted 207 fully completed scripts.
Startled by the massive discrepancies, the civilians, several of them pastors from Christian churches, complained to top management which immediately launched an investigation into the racket and confirmed its existence.
“These preliminary enquires indicate a complete breach of the standard operating procedures governing the administration and conduct of the learner driver’s theoretical examination. In the circumstances while the full and comprehensive investigation is awaited, the members of the public who sat the examination at the venue on the Thursday, April 12, 2018, regrettably, but deemed absolutely necessary, will be informed of the date and time when they will have to re-sit that particular examination,” the force said in a statement.
Dozens of people who have studied for and have written the tests over the years have expressed astonishment about how and why they had failed the relatively simple tests involving traffic laws, road signs and the proper care and maintenance of a vehicle.
Some have appealed and upon examination of the papers, it was revealed that they had actually passed but officers had been setting them up to pay up to $200 for their failure marks to be converted to a pass.
The high command said that some officers were so confident that their racketeering would have been missed by invigilators, that they did not even bother to show up to organize the test sessions, leaving it completely in the hands of the civilians who busted the racket and complained to top management.
Some only showed up after the tests to collect the papers, including the dozens that they had inserted in the final batch but by then it had been too late as the pastors had already blown the whistle.
Files on the issue are being compiled and are to be sent to the state prosecutor’s office to advise on what criminal charges are to be brought against the racketeering officers. Dismissals from the force also loom but several who have failed the tests over the years have persistently complained that something had always been wrong with the marking of some papers as well.