Cabinet has approved a proposal for all State-owned vehicles to be fitted with license plates bearing special security features and very soon bring a halt to anyone being able to make licence plates for civilian-owned vehicles.
These measure, says Minister of Governance, Raphael Trotman, are aimed at safeguarding vehicular assets against illegal appropriation and the use of bogus license plates by criminals.
During government’s post-Cabinet press conference on Wednesday Trotman said the proposal was made by the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).
“When the proposal is implemented, all state-owned vehicles will bear the initials CRG, which means Cooperative Republic of Guyana, along with a numbering system which is to follow,” the Minister explained.
According to the minister, Cabinet also approved a proposal for the establishment of a “centralised system for the issuance of vehicle license plates.”He said that there are “complaints by security forces that anyone can manufacture license plates.”
After the coalition government took office it discovered attempts to convert state-owned vehicles to personnal property. Former Minister of Public Service, Jennifer Westford, her husband, who is a high-ranking officer in the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), and several other persons have been implicated in the attempted conversion of several vehicles to private ownership. Those, Minister of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon, has said, have since been returned, though investigations continue.
There are, however, several vehicles which are still not accounted for. Harmon has said that the State-Asset Recovery Unit is currently looking into the whereabouts of these vehicles, as well as other assets.
Stricter government measures usually force interested criminal sections of society to become more innovative in carrying out crimes. For instant, over the years, various governments have sought to reinforce the security features attached to various currency notes. This has not stopped persons from attempting the make copies, some of which are very close to the original.
When questioned on the matter, Trotman noted that “we’re anticipating that there will be attempts to…copy and to imitate the security features.” He nevertheless gave assurances that sufficient provisions are in place to counter counterfeit efforts.
“There are certain features that only the persons who are making the request and the person who is doing the manufacturing will know about,” he said, divulging one of the ways government plans to combat counterfeit efforts.
Currently, number plates are made by private sign artists a number of whom have no permanent or official location.