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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Police red-faced over impounding of cars

A police vehicle sits parked in front of Phnom Penh's White Building last year.
A police vehicle sits parked in front of Phnom Penh's White Building last year. Vireak Mai

Police red-faced over impounding of cars

A bureaucratic hold-up has led customs officials to tarnish the “honour” of the police force by impounding unregistered police vehicles whose paperwork is still being processed, according to National Police chief Neth Savoeun.

In a March 17 letter addressed to Interior Minister Sar Kheng, and seen by the Post yesterday, Savoeun says that in late 2015, customs officials impounded five vehicles they said were not registered with the tax department at the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF).

The police chief says, however, that the paperwork was simply still at the Ministry of Interior, which had given permission for the vehicles to be on the road while they sent the proper registration forms to the MEF.

“Although we have implemented this recently, customs officials have mobilised and continued to confiscate a series of vehicles by using the military police to surround the vehicles and then take them to customs offices,” the letter reads.

“This has caused crowds to gather by the vehicles [as they are impounded], which affects the police’s honour and the ministry’s leadership policy.”

Contacted yesterday, Por Phak, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, acknowledged receipt of the letter and said they would be contacting MEF shortly.

“The most important thing is that their means of transportation has been registered properly, but because the procedure was a little bit slow . . . when confiscating [the cars], it can affect our brothers’ and sisters’ spirit,” he said.



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