Two people believed to be members of a syndicate that produces fake Defective Vehicle (DV) registration number plates have been arrested.
They were recently picked up in a special operation.
On the streets of Accra, Kumasi and other cities, there is the probability one will spot two vehicles with the same DV registration numbers.
The Police Motor Transport and Traffic Directorate of the Ghana Police Service used to restrict the movement of vehicles with DV between 6pm and 6 am. A January 6, 2018, internal memo by Inspector General of Police (IGP) Asante Apeatu, ordered discontinuation of the measure because it was unlawful.
Vehicles with Direct from Port (DP) plates were also affected by the directive.
The floodgates appear to have opened for the high demand for DV plates which appear to have created an avenue for fraudsters to capitalize on and produce duplicates for sale to unsuspecting motorists.
A partnership between Nhyira FM, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority and police led to the arrest of some perpetrators in the special operation.
The two, including a car dealer arrested at a garage, are currently assisting police with the investigation.
The man, who gives his name only as Kwaku, led the operation team to his supplier, Bukari, who was also nabbed after he was lured into a supposed meeting for payment for a previous consignment.
Police also retrieved fake 25 pairs of DV number plates during the operation at the supply base.
Each plate cost GHS350, thus widespread perpetration of the illegality in Kumasi and other parts of the country.
Financial loss to the state
A single DV plate goes for at least GHS350, but most times the duplicate plates are sold as low as GHS250 or GHS200 cedis to unsuspecting car users.
This means a chunk of tax payer’s money meant for development is diverted into individual pockets without trace or accounts and at the detriment of national development.
Ashanti Regional Director of DVLA, George Afful, has confirmed that his outfit is aware of the illegality but attempts to trace the culprits have yielded little impact.
He said that, he is surprised at the widespread nature of the alleged fraudulent acts which constitute a major hindrance to the authority’s revenue generation effort.
“This issue has come to our notice, we sensed danger, when our figures started dropping that, is our revenue declined drastically after its major peak season in 2014, in that year we sold more than 30,000 copies of the DV plates but now we are unable to sell little above 10,000,” he said.
“With my little observation, I have realized that there are tens of thousands of cars embossed with DV plates, but it doesn’t reflect in our sales; this confirms that there are duplicate DV plates circulating in the system,” he added.
As police team up with DVLA taskforce to flush out the duplicate DV plates, Mr. Afful has assured that management will swiftly intervene and draw a comprehensive roadmap to clamp down on offenders.
“As management, we are regrouping to review our strategies and approach to clean the system off fake number plates to boost our revenue,” he emphasized