Police target Toyota Spacio hire cars
- ‘GRA erred somewhere in registering these vehicles as seven seaters’—‘D’ Commander
By Romila Boodram
Beginning yesterday, the police are targeting Toyota Spacio hire cars countrywide. The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) had registered them as seven seaters but the police are saying that the vehicle is too small to accommodate seven persons. Some two dozen taxi drivers were pulled in at the Wales Police Station, West Bank Demerara and approximately 30 vehicles were impounded at the Vreed-en-Hoop Police Station.
They were told by ranks that their registration licenses which were issued by the GRA had to be discarded since a mistake was made by the GRA by granting these drivers the ability to seat seven passengers. According to one irate driver, Sheik Hassan, “(Yesterday) morning I come out to work and I hear the police pulling in all Spacio to change the seven seats to five. “As soon as I hear, I was going home to collect my registration but the police block me and tell me to go to the Wales Station. Since morning I am here and they (police) saying an officer will come. It’s after 13:00hrs and no one ain’t come as yet.” The drivers questioned why the police pulled the drivers in on a Friday given the fact that the GRA is closed on weekends. “They pulled us in today (Friday) and tell us we can’t work until we get our registration sorted out, so we can’t work this weekend because GRA opens until Monday. We have our families to maintain and we have installments to pay.” Some drivers say they have to pay as much as $85,000 in installments monthly. The “three days, no work” will be a major setback for them. Commenting on the situation, Acting Commander of Police for D-Division, Ian Amsterdam, said that there is some problem with the seating capacity and it can be dangerous for passengers sitting at the back. Amsterdam said that ranks examined the Spacios and found that they are too small to carry seven persons. In the case of an accident, the passengers at the back will be trapped. The Commander said that GRA may have erred somewhere in registering the vehicles as seven seaters. “They (taxi drivers) will now have to go to Eve Leary police station and fill out a form which they will then take to the GRA so that they (GRA) can re-issue the standard registration,” the commander said.