Lawmakers in Northern Bahr el Ghazal are investigating police officers and revenue officials over fines they are said to have collected from drivers who do not have a license or vehicle registration after the money collected allegedly went missing.
Assembly members opened an inquiry this week following complaints from the public, alleging that police officers have been issuing fines and impounding vehicles for more than two months if drivers cannot produce a license or their registration.
The state currently has no laws on the books punishing drivers for not having a license or vehicle registration.
State Police Commissioner Akot Deng Akot said the police began fining drivers and impounding vehicles after they were ordered to do so by the State Revenue Authority. He says there has been no impropriety.
“The income and the all money of licenses… are with the revenue authority. We don’t see them. They are being taken. Even if you are going to have a plate you don’t pay to the police," he said.
Several requests for comment from State Revenue Commissioner Mareng Chuor went unanswered.
Assembly members said they plan to call Chuor as part of their investigation.
Garang Zechariah, chair of the finance committee, said the state assembly is looking at passing a law that regulates unlicensed drivers and unregistered vehicles.
But until the law is passed, the assembly instructed the police commissioner to stop issuing fines and impounding vehicles.