With corruption increasingly common among Bolivia’s Customs Department, a government initiative is hoping to put an end to it.
Customs director, Marlene Ardaya, recently told the BBC customs officers are now required to carry pens with both a hidden camera and a voice recorder, saying, “They will work as an anti-doping mechanism in the department.”
Officers have to keep the pens active during all working hours and will be randomly selected to their pens’ recordings checked.
Bolivia’s Customs Department has long been considered one of the most corrupt areas of government in South America, with officers allowing things to pass through without travelers having to declare items they’d have to pay taxes while officers pocket a nice fee for looking the other way.
The Bolivian Economy Ministry estimates the customs officers’ corruption has cost the $300 and $400 a year in lost tax revenue.
According to Transparency International, the anti-corruption watchdog, Bolivia ranked 118th of 182 countries in the organisation’s 2011 Corruption Perceptions Index with first place perceived to be the least corrupt country.