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Rogue moto market raided, but no arrests

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Authorities wheel a motorbike onto a police truck yesterday morning after a raid in Phnom Penh on illegal vehicles. Heng Chivoan

Rogue moto market raided, but no arrests

Customs officials and local police yesterday raided a motorbike market in Phnom Penh’s Prampi Makara district they said was illegally selling vehicles without licence plates or paperwork.

According to police and local residents, the market is well-known as a place to buy a cheap bike without papers with no questions asked. Some of the bikes are stolen while others are imported illegally.

“We found and seized 46 motos, which the owners put up illegally without paying tax, and are selling without having legal documents,” said Pu Sareth, a chief of the district customs and excise branch.

However, police made no arrests. Instead, they requested that market dealers sign agreements to pay relevant taxes and stop selling vehicles without paperwork. Sareth did not explain the officials’ lenience, but vowed to keep fighting against unlawful motorbike sales.

“We will continue to crack down on selling motorbikes without legal documents in this market,” he added.

A local salesman who did not want to reveal his name said that the crackdown is a new development, as police used to drop by for routine checks in the past without seizing large numbers of vehicles.

“We sold those motos while not having documents or paying tax because we could sell for a lower price that the buyer can afford,” he said.

Sous Sa, 43, a local who came to shop, said that the market “is one of the biggest stolen property markets in the city after a branch in Sompov Meas pagoda and near Borei Keila”.

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