Corruption @ RTA

An Emirati employee of RTA’s Traffic section has confessed to cancelling Dh1.187 million of traffic fines and pocketing Dh593,860 as bribes.

Between the period January 2, 2008 and February 19, 2009, 23-year-old SAA illegally used the passwords of three employees, authorised to log into the system, to cancel the fines from the database.

He cancelled fines of total value Dh1,187,720 for traffic violations including radar fines, jumping red signal, etc, of five accused identified as KSS, 23, an Emirati policeman at the airport; OIO, 24, an Emirati customs employee; NKR, 25, a jobless Omani; SJS, 37, Iranian, director of rent a car company; and FTM, 26, an Emirati officer at the Ministry of Interior.

SAA is accused of exploiting his position at the Control Technologies and using passwords of other employees without their knowledge to forge electronic documents.

Once he entered the system and deleated the fines at the back-end, he uploaded the changes on the website so that the individuals could check the status and pay him half the fine as bribe for his service.

The five people who paid SAA to have their fines revoked in the system are accused of bribing a public employee and face criminal charges for assissting SAA to commit the crime.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Colonel Saif Muhair Al Mazroui, Acting Director of Dubai Police’s Traffic Department from the Fines Department, told an increasing number of motorists, who approached the department to settle their fines, have been complaining about preferential treatment as they found some others have had their fines cancelled.

Lt Col Al Mazroui testified before the Public Prosecution that he had confidentially ordered checking the records for cancelled fines for the past six months. He found 99 per cent of the cancelled fines were processed using the passwords of three employees – Zahra Al Elwi, Shahraban Abbas (both policewomen) and Yousef Al Fakki, policeman.

Apart from the computers of these three, SAA’s system and the one used by the receptionist at the Radar Section were used for the cancellation fines illegally.

Apparently the two poliewomen were away on a special assignment during the period and the policeman was on annual leave.

The two policewomen have denied any knowledge about fine cancellations. They, however, told Lt Col Al Mazroui, that they would sometimes assist SAA to enter information into the system. SAA also confirmed the statements of the two women cops, and added that he used to work on their systems after they had logged in.

However, on further questioning, SAA said: “I have seen them typing their passwords. They were very easy to memorise as their passwords matched their mobile numbers, which I know very well.”

He confessed to cancelling fines from his own system as well, but added that it was after seeking permission from the head of the section. But both the director and the deputy director of the Radar Section denied authorising SAA to cancel fines using the passwords of authorised employees.

SAA said Al Fakki would change the password regularly, but he would keenly observe and memorise the new password each time Al Fakki changed it.

SAA confessed to the charges first orally and then in writing.

SAA and SJS did not attend the hearing on Monday.

As the defence lawyers have asked the Dubai Criminal Court time to prepare their defence, the case has been adjourned until September 30.

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