A former Land Transport Authority (LTA) employee was sentenced to two (2) years and 10 months in the Nadi Magistrates Court on 4 April 2019.
Mr. Emosi Qio was charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) with seven (7) counts of Bribery for accepting $1,450.00 FJD and requesting $700.00 FJD from individuals for by-passing procedures in obtaining driving licenses.
The Accused was employed as a cleaner by LTA but would often assist with front desk duties which saw him come into contact with individuals seeking advice on procedures to follow to obtain a license or learner’s permit.
It was through these interactions that he began the scam of offering these individuals full licenses without having to follow the procedures in place by LTA which involved sitting a test and undergoing a specified number of hours with a driving school, culminating with another written and driving test administered by LTA before licenses can be awarded.
Resident Magistrate Mr. Siromi Turaga said that the Accused risked the safety of the travelling public by facilitating the issuance of licenses without the necessary tests being taken which undermined public confidence in the LTA.
The Accused had earlier pleaded guilty and admitted to interfering with LTA procedures and breaching the trust of his employers when committing the offences over a six (6) month period.
Resident Magistrate Mr. Turaga further emphasized that the purpose of the sentence is to send a clear signal that public officers who misuse the power and trust vested on them in return of money will meet custodial sentence as well as to denounce conduct.
Mr. Qio was given sentences for three cases in total involving Bribery and Obtaining a Financial Advantage charges.
In the other two (2) cases, the amounts involved were $100.00 FJD and $350.00 FJD respectively, as he admitted to making arrangements for the issuance of licenses.
He was charged alongside two (2) driving school instructors who allegedly assisted him in these acts by falsifying information in the driver’s workbook.
Their cases are still before the Court.