Jan 09, 2020

Masterminds behind Metropolitan - RMV driving license scam! Featured

The Department of Registration of Motor Vehicles (RMV) has so far paid Rs. 56,306 million to Metropolitan (Pvt.) Ltd as late charges, although their contract to print driving licenses ended two years ago, it has been revealed.

The relevant company has been working while enjoying benefits from the RMV such as electricity and water. However, the government receives only Rs. 15 out of the Rs. 1300 charged to print a driving license.

RMV gets 15/= ; Metropolitan gets 1,285 /=

Accordingly, Metropolitan has earned Rs. 1,285 per license and so far they have print over 40,000 driving licenses, it is reported.

The contract for printing driving licenses was awarded for a period from 2009 to 2016.

However, despite the contracted term ending in 2016, they have continued to print the licenses. Although Metropolitan has been operating from 2016 to 2019 at the RMV despite the end of the contract, the RMV has taken no action against them. The reason being that the database for all RMV operations is with this company.

Metropolitan had obtained this tender contract on the build, operate and transfer basis. Accordingly, they are duty bound to provide all personal data to the Motor Traffic Commissioner’s Office.

The data base of the RMV has been formulated on the requirement of a certain technical officer of the RMV.

Despite the company guaranteeing that the issued license would last for 10 years, it tends to fade within 5-6 months.

Moreover, the driving license issued by Metropolitan is said to have a tendency to crack in the middle as it is of low quality.

According to RMV sources, the number of complaints regarding the quality of the driving licenses is increasing by the day.

Doubts are also raised whether data is actually stored in the chip of the license.

Although Metropolitan was required to provide the RMV and the police with machines which could read the data on the chip, this has not happened so far.

Contract vanished!

Meanwhile, the minister of Transport - Mahinda Amaraweera has revealed that there is no record of this contract at either the RMV or the Transport Ministry.

He said, “This contract has been drawn up by this company and neither the RMV nor the Transport Ministry have copies of this contract. This company has also been given the contract for the installation of CCTV cameras and the E-motoring project. 75% of the RMV data base is in the possession of this company. In the event they face any issue with the ministry, they have the ability to destroy the data base and then everything is lost. Why was this data base not kept under the government? All this has been done according to the directives of this particular technical officer and this company has not adhered to anyone else’s orders. As a result, the RMV has had to pay this huge sum as late charges. Although the contract specifies that the human resources training should be carried out, no one has been trained so far. At least if even four persons had been trained, we could have carried on the operations without this company.”

Masterminds behind this scam

Although 'Sri Lanka Mirror' revealed details of this scam during the previous regime, no action was taken to look into this scam.

Currently there are allegations that there were several officers who ensured that this contract never went out of the hands of Metropolitan.

Among them are the RMV Commissioner - Jagath Chandrasiri and the RMV Technology and Communication Commissioner Thushara Suraweera.

In addition, Assistant Commissioner (technical) J.A.S. Jayaweera and the current Acting Commissioner Upali Jayasekara are also facing allegations of involvement in this racket.