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Authorities feud over seized vehicles

Authorities feud over seized vehicles

Tensions flared between military police, traffic police and local officials on Sunday over the impounding of cars alleged to have violated the Traffic Law.

Chroy Changvar District Governor Khlaing Huot and district military police chief Teng Chheang were incensed after claims that district traffic police officers freed two vehicles that had been confiscated by military police for driving on the wrong side of the street.

Chheang yesterday said the move by traffic police to release the cars “made him angry”.

“The military [police] helped confiscate vehicles that . . . violated the Traffic Law, and we handed them to traffic police, but traffic police let two of them free,” he said, adding that the owner of one of the vehicles had offered to spend a lot of money to get his car back, but military police refused to release it.

Hout declined to comment in detail, only saying he had “solved” the issue. However, he told local media yesterday that the decision to free the confiscated vehicles went “too far”.

Hout reportedly said he and other officials, including Interior Minister Sar Kheng, had worked hard to strengthen the Traffic Law and that the incident had spurred criticism by people who claimed the law was biased. “They dared do this behind my back,” he was quoted as saying.

But Siemp Kimchheang, deputy district police chief in charge of traffic police, said the governor had wrongly accused his staff of letting the two vehicles go, which wasn’t true according to his own probe.

He said a total of six cars had been confiscated, and although there were nine vehicles at the scene, that included those of relatives who had come to intervene.

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