The General Department of Customs and Excise at the Ministry of Economy and Finance vowed to take legal action against those using vehicles with unpaid tax and unapproved modifications after relevant authorities had advised them through educational announcements.

General Department of Customs and Excise director-general Kun Nhem told The Post on Thursday that even though announcements had been made, his department noticed that regulatory violations continued to happen.

“The activities of buying and selling, possessing unregistered vehicles, tax invoices and fake stickers, vehicle identification cards, number plates, and illegal modifications, etc are still happening. Of the unregistered vehicles, lorries and tourism vehicles are the most common offenders,” he said.

“We’re using many ways to [ensure they] comply. Without exception, action will even be taken against vehicles bearing state number plates. This is because some state number plates can be illegal too,” he said, adding that they had acted against hundreds of such vehicles.

So far, Nhem said, the authorities had found offenders who used fake number plates and documents, as well as those illegally modifying their vehicles.

“We have launched law enforcement operations at car dealerships. Other than our operations on the roads, we also spot-check garages where vehicles are modified illegally,” he said.

Nhem said the department had also warned offenders and informed people to be cautious when buying motor-vehicles.

A departmental announcement obtained by The Post on Thursday said the offences were committed under the criminal code on customs and relevant laws.

It said the public must only buy, sell or possess vehicles with legal documents as this will help to ensure law enforcement, improve the culture of paying taxes and maintain public order.

The announcement also urged the public to buy vehicles from only legally registered companies or car dealerships, and to avoid modifying them without prior approval.

“The General Department of Customs and Excise will take firm legal action against any individual who violates the laws,” the announcement read.