License Plate Vendors Continue Despite Order

Street vendors continue to make license plates despite Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuk­­tema’s order to police to crack down on them last week.

The municipality ordered vendors to close their operations be­cause the bogus plate numbers have “caused difficulties for the au­thorities to control,” Kep Chuk­tema wrote Thursday. “In case the busi­nesses fail to adhere to the order, Phnom Penh municipality will quickly eradicate the business ac­cording to the law.”

All vehicles must have metal license plates produced by the Ministry of Public Works and Tran­s­port, the governor said. Po­lice have orders to stop anyone sell­ing or using a plastic plate.

Along with banning dogs from public parks and giving land to squatters, the directive to ban illegally produced license plates is part of Kep Chuktema’s plan to improve security. Yet street vendors say the governor is only hurting their businesses.

“I don’t think it should be illegal to produce the plate number,” said Bun Thoeun, 37, as he displayed the various plate colors and numbers at his stall on Street 51 near the US Embassy. Bun Thoeun said customers must show him a license before he will produce a plate. Each license costs 6,000 riel ($1.50). Besides license plates, Bun Thoeun also produces house and massage girl numbers.

“I think Kep Chuktema is abusing my business,” he said.

For 6,000 riel, most anyone can have a special license plate produced that suggests the owner is a soldier or works for an NGO. One man who refused to be named said that he recently bought an NGO license plate without showing a license. “I got the plate number because I want to avoid the traffic police,” the man said.

Phnom Penh Municipal Traffic Po­lice Chief Kim Yidet said he re­ceived the order Monday from the Na­tional Police to crack down on il­legal license plate producers. Cars will be fined 5,000 riel ($1.25) and motorcycles 2,000 riel ($0.50), he said.

 

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