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Fiji Time: 1:58 PM on Saturday 19 April

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Inquiry into illegal transport

Felix Chaudhary
Saturday, January 19, 2013

THE rising number of people engaged in the illegal transport trade could result in more permits being issued as the national road monitor continues investigations into the thriving business.

Land Transport Authority chief executive officer Naisa Tuinaceva revealed that preliminary investigations into the illegal transport trade were completed resulting in the seizure of 46 vehicles.

However, he said the issue warranted further investigation to better understand why illegal operators were growing in number.

"While the crackdown has achieved results, we need to look at why these illegal operators are thriving," he said.

"In the case of private cars operating as taxis, perhaps there is need to increase the number of permits and legitimise these operators because they could be providing a service that legitimate taxis can't meet."

Mr Tuinaceva said the LTA was not only an enforcement agency but also a regulator and if there was a need to increase the number of taxis or rental car permits then the issue had to be further investigated.

"Illegal operators are affecting legitimate rental car businesses and likewise legitimate taxi operators.

"However, to better understand why the illegal business is thriving we have to find out what type of people are renting illegal vehicles or hiring illegal taxis and what drives them to engage in illegal activity."