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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

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Why drivers in Lebanon can’t be legal

Iquite In the current chaos in Lebanon, it is not uncommon for cars without license plates to slip through checkpoints in traffic without blinking an eye. Last year, almost all employees of the country’s car registry were arrested on corruption charges. Some 60 workers there are said to remain in prison. The interior ministry acknowledged that the entire department, named Nafaa after the Beirut district in which it is located, had been shut down since October. Consequently, the number of countless cars driving on the roads is increasing all the time.

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The problem is that a ban in place since 2017 means all public sector recruitment is frozen, so wrong registrars cannot be replaced. In any case, very few Lebanese can survive on a standard public sector salary of around $50 a month. Police are being trained to take over the role, but it may be a long time before they get out of the backlog.

Owners of new and imported cars have been unable to obtain license plates for the past five months. It is also impossible to register the sale of a used car. You cannot obtain a driver’s license or renew an old driver’s license. Insurance companies have been reluctant to do business with owners of unregistered vehicles.

Authorities have been tight-lipped about the scandal and investigation. No official will speak publicly. So far, state news agencies have been the only source of information.

To everyone’s surprise, police confiscated piles of fake car insurance documents and evidence of selling driver’s licenses to people who failed the test.

Still, life on Chaos Road hasn’t changed. In a country on the brink of collapse, it’s not uncommon to not get any papers in order. With real wages plummeting amid rampant inflation, ordinary Lebanese have little incentive to work for jobs for next to nothing. Government ministries, courts and schools have been closed, sometimes for months.

Meanwhile, lack of license plates has been a particular annoyance for police and security services. For starters, it’s nearly impossible to track down the countless wrecked vehicles, let alone investigate those involved in more serious crimes.

Ironically, this latest turmoil was sparked by the authorities’ rare efforts to reduce corruption, which remains widespread across the country and is one of the main reasons for the current state of malaise and dysfunction.In fact, since the mass arrests of people in Nafaa, most lucky drivers have somehow managed to register their cars and have license plates attached to them, only by naughty old ways Vasta– Relationships and bribes.

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