The National Anti Corruption Commission, CONAC has uncovered one of the biggest frauds in the country. About FCFA 24 million is reportedly being embezzled each day at a weighing station at Nkometou, a locality on the Yaounde-Bafoussam highway.
A trade unionist, News Watch is informed, was travelling from Yaounde to Bafoussam last October when after the weighing station, he saw some extremely overloaded lorries parked along the highway. He sought to know how they managed to get through the weighing station.
One of the truck drivers revealed to the trade unionist that they have an intermediary who “negotiates”. “He negotiates for F CFA150, 000 each and we wait here and leave from 10pm” the driver declared.
The trade unionist inquired their time of arrival and departure from the weighing station and tipped off the anti-graft body. Upon their arrival, CONAC officials couldn’t find anything but did not give up. But they realized that the weighing station could produce between FCFA 39 and 59 thousand daily.
News Watch is informed further that CONAC officials went back to the weighing station the following day. An insider at the commission hinted us that while at the weighing station; CONAC officials joined weighing station agents on duty to control all vehicles. But it took them some time to understand what was going on.
Weighing station agents manipulate the scale in such a way that just one side of the trucks pass on it, resulting in a reading of just the normal weight.
Given that physically on one would argue that the trucks were overloaded, CONAC officials had to dig deep and their efforts finally paid off. They (CONAC officials) proceeded to weighing the trucks themselves and fined many of them that were extremely overloaded.
More than F CFA 1,500,000 was collected as fines within one hour and that is how the ‘mafia’ at the weighing station was uncovered. Officials of CONAC then proceeded to the ‘arrest’ of the weighing station agents at work and the systematic verification of the documents in their possession.
With the above amount collected as fines in just one hour, the question many are asking is “how much do they make a day”? The answer certainly is, over F CFA 25 million.
By Ndi Eugene Ndi