Applicants allegedly falsify information to obtain taxi permits

APPLICANTS who allegedly provided false information to obtain taxi permits that were awarded in Lautoka over the weekend will face the full brunt of the law.

This is the word from Land Transport Authority (LTA) after it discovered that some applicants had allegedly provided incorrect or false information in their applications.

In a public notice issued late last night, LTA stated that these applicants were awarded provisional taxi permits by LTA on Saturday, July 28 at Girmit Center in Lautoka.
These taxi permits were drawn using Government’s taxi permit lottery system officiated by Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

While the number of allegedly falsified applications was not revealed, it is known that more than 1500 people received permits last Saturday.

“The LTA wishes to advise any provisional taxi permit recipient who has provided false information to LTA in his or her application and who was awarded the provisional taxi permit letter on 28 July 2018 at Girmit Center in Lautoka, to immediately return the provisional taxi permit letter to LTA by no later than 21 August 2018,” the authority stated.

“Failure to do so will result in criminal prosecution under the Crimes Act 2009.”

The new taxi permit application form also required the applicant to sign and confirm that the information provided in the application were true and met the criteria for taxi permit application pursuant to the Land Transport (Public Service Vehicles) (Amendment) Regulations 2017.

It also required the applicant to make a statutory declaration, signed by an authorised official, Justice of Peace/Commissioner of Oaths and declare that the information provided by the applicant were true and correct.

“LTA wishes to inform all Fijians that only those applicants who meet the criteria for new taxi permit applications are eligible to receive a taxi permit subject to the barrel draw for each transport zone,” LTA stated.
“Prior to receiving the new taxi permit applications for Nadi 1, Nadi 2 and Lautoka 1 transport zones, LTA had advertised the criteria for new taxi permits applications.”

Under the Crimes Act 2009, a person commits a summary offence for any false declaration for the purposes of receiving a benefit and is punishable by law which includes imprisonment for one year.

The provisional taxi permit letter issued has a 90-day provisional period that is given to any new taxi permit recipient to comply with the necessary requirements. LTA wishes to inform all recipients of provisional taxi permit letters that if, after the conduct of such investigation as may be necessary, it is established that incorrect and false information was provided by any recipient of provisional taxi permit, LTA shall revoke the provisional taxi permit and shall refer the matter for appropriate criminal prosecution.

LTA urges all members of the public to come forward with information regarding individuals who may have made false statutory declarations to acquire taxi permits, so that LTA may conduct necessary investigations and ensure that only those Fijians who are eligible under the law can apply and receive taxi permits.

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