x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Ten charged in driving licence bribery scheme

One man funneled applicants to the Emirati driving instructor, who took cash to issue passing grades, court hears.

DUBAI // Ten men bribed a Balhasa Institute driving examiner in return for giving them passing grades on their road tests, a court heard this morning.

The Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance was told that eight Indian men and two Pakistanis offered more than Dh50,000 in bribes to EE, 65, an Emirati driving examiner.

"Thats not true, your honour," EE said.

Prosecutors said the men approached EE through the Pakistani KJ, 42. KJ testified this morning that he spoke with EE in the company of another man who remains at large.

KJ was charged with mediating between EE and the rest of the men.

Records show that five of the 10 got licences after the bribes. Prosecutors said EE charged Dh2,000-Dh2,500 for a light vehicle licence and Dh4,000 for a heavy vehicle licence.

Prosecutors charged EE with forging five applications for driving tests, then giving them to the applicants, who gave them to the Roads and Transports Authority to have licences issued. The forgeries began on October 18, 2010, officials said.

HS, 29, a truck driver, testified that in December 2008 KJ told him he could get a driving licence for Dh4,200 for a light vehicle licence and Dh8,000 for a heavy vehicle.

He told him he would give him Dh400 for every person he brought in seeking a licence. Records show that HS brought him 15 applicants.

When arrested, KJ confessed, prosecutors said, and told them EE was his friend. According to KJ, EE told him he could help applicants get their licences in return for money; if KJ steered applicants to him, KJ could then charge personal fees.

Records show that KJ charged Dh1,500 for light vehicle licences and Dh2,000 for heavy vehicle licences.

The next hearing will be on September 13.

salamir@thenational.ae