Afghanistan’s high-level corruption gets all the headlines, but chronic palm-greasing is what bothers Afghans. Small bribes shape the way many Afghans think about their country’s experiment in democracy. Here’s a look at what might be the most bloated of the country’s nascent bureaucracies: the traffic department.
Food vendors take advantage of the long lines waiting to enter the traffic department in Kabul. Obtaining a vehicle registration or renewing a driver’s license became so painstaking and time-consuming that an entire underworld has emerged around it. Outside of the department, 200 or so “dealers” spend their days bribing public officials, expediting what can be exasperating bureaucratic processes. But there are still many who can’t afford to pay the extra money for bribes, and a long line forms of men attempting to renew their own licenses and registrations legitimately.Lorenzo Tugnoli/For The Washington Post