5 employees of Al Ahli Driving Institute were caught for taking bribes from students and have been sentenced to 6 months in prison.
The amount of the bribes taken by each man totaled to Dh 34, 000. The five men were clerks in the driving institute; AA and AK aged 24, MA is 25, SK is 27 and MM is 34. A sixth man, NS, aged 34 was acquitted by the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance. The accused have been ordered to repay the amount, which they took from students.
The Crime: The bribes were given to avoid the viewing of original passport copies of students, assigning students to examiners that they would prefer, forging applications and using these forged applications by sending them to the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) to issue licenses for the students.
They were also accused of forging the stamps of private companies on no-objection letters. These documents are required from the employers of the students to initiate the driving classes.
The Accuser: The man who reported this to the police, RS, was an ex-student of the driving institute from 2008 to 2009, who had failed his tests. In 2009, he was approached by SK. He was told that if he paid a bribe of Dh 8, 000 he would make him pass. As per the records, he had paid SK the money, but the latter failed to keep his word.
All those caught denied the charges.
After serving their sentence the men will be deported.
A question of fair play
But it takes two to tango and in this dance in the in the hall of justice it seems as though the spotlight is only on one partner. It is one thing for employees of a company to ask for bribes, and also go to great extents such as forging official documents to keep their end of the deal. Yet it seems unfair that the authorities have overlooked the fact that, those who gave bribes to the 5 men, did it by their own will.
If they had not given the bribes, the men would have no bribes to accept and this case, would be no case. Additionally, there is no mention of the students being forced and threatened to do so. It was a fair game of give and take.
Would RS have reported this to the police if SK had kept his word?
So why haven?t the students been penalized for giving bribes? Is it fair to let them waltz away?
Statistics: According to statistics released by the Emirates Driving Institute, in the past 10 years there have been 22,086 driving accidents in Dubai and 1,770 people have been injured.
Taking into account the whole of the UAE, annually about 600 people are killed in car accidents. Therefore, if the calculation is taken further, it means that 24 people are killed per 100, 000 population.
If institutions that give individuals the permit to drive run on bribes, regardless of the quality of their driving lessons, and the strictness of their tests, they cannot prevent the roads being filled with reckless drivers.
Of course, accidents cannot be viewed in a very black and white manner and a lot of factors may come in to play when analyzing them, but the driver?s skill and adherence to rules greatly determines how safe he or she drives.
Not only does this case highlight the wicked games that are played behind the scenes of such institutions, but it also brings into question about how ?just? the eyes of the law are.
Sources: The National, Emirates Driving Institute, United Arab Emirates Accidents