Ministry Calls for Action on Illegal Police Plates

The Interior Ministry on Wednesday released a statement directing authorities to clamp down on the unlawful use of police license plates because drivers have been using them as an excuse to commit traffic crimes and avoid paying taxes.

The statement, which was signed by Interior Minister Sar Kheng and dated September 25, said that a number of National Police officials were using their license plates as a way to disregard traffic rules, while others had given their plates to individuals who were not authorized to have them. It said these actions had damaged the reputation of the country’s police force.

A girl drives past a Lexus SUV with a police license plate in Phnom Penh on Wednesday. (Jens Welding Ollgaard/The Cambodia Daily)
A girl drives past a Lexus SUV with a police license plate in Phnom Penh on Wednesday. (Jens Welding Ollgaard/The Cambodia Daily)

“The national police must check and control all units and patrol the road in order to take strong action against the offenders,” Mr. Kheng said in the statement.

“The Interior Ministry issued these guidelines to warn some offenders because they use fake National Police license plates to commit [traffic] crimes,” he said.

The interior minister also reminded people driving vehicles with police license plates that they were still obligated to pay import and road taxes.

Ty Long, deputy director of the Interior Ministry’s public order department, said Mr. Kheng had issued the statement at the behest of the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

“We issued the statement to all vehicle owners who use the police number plates because the Finance Ministry ordered us to take action in this case to collect revenue for the state budget,” Mr. Long said.

He added that the statement was also issued in reaction to people committing traffic infractions while driving vehicles with police plates.

“We issued license plates to police officials, but those individuals give the plates to people who are not police officials and they [the recipients] use the license plates to commit crimes,” he said.

Mr. Long said the crackdown would not begin immediately but would instead start next year, to give drivers currently using illegal police plates time to make the switch to civilian ones.

“We will arrest any vehicle owner if they use the police number plate and committed a crime,” he said.

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