Regulations stitch up the bribe-takers
You cannot pocket bribes without a pocket, can you? That is what a state agency hopes with its new clothing regulations.
The Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper said officials with a transport ministry department are requiring their toll-booth operators to sew up all the pockets on their work uniforms.
The regulation, which took effect last month on the highway between Hanoi and Noi Bai airport, aims to prevent toll-booth operators from taking bribes from motorists looking to 'smooth procedures', the newspaper said.
It said the department's staff were perplexed by the new rules.
One toll-booth worker said he asked his wife to sew his pockets after their children were asleep, fearful that the children would think he had been caught stealing at work.
'Then my wife got a stomach ache from laughing so hard,' the employee was quoted as saying.
The article said the measure was likely to be ineffective. While bribe-taking is not unusual at toll booths, the low-paid workers typically pool the extra income in a drawer to be shared among the staff at the end of their shifts, it said.
The newspaper also questioned why the 100 inspectors at the road agency's management body were not able to crack down on bribe-taking more directly.