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Undocumented, right hand-drive vehicles flood Farah

Security & Crime

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Undocumented, right hand-drive vehicles flood Farah

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May 09, 2018 - 15:35

FARAH CITY (Pajhwok): Most of right hand-drive vehicles in western Farah province are undocumented and without number plates. People travelling in these vehicles to Herat use fake licenses and registration documents.

Well-placed sources told Pajhwok Afghan News duplicate number plates are sold at certain showrooms for 3,000 afghanis, a racket that has encouraged the use of illegal vehicles in the province.

Reports in recent years indicated thousands of right hand-drive vehicles had found their way into the country without registration. In line with Afghanistaninfo-icon’s traffic rules, the use of right hand-drive vehicles is illegal.

The government, without approval from the Council of Ministers, is unable to stop the entry of right hand-drive automobiles into the country.

Haji Nisar Ahmad, an importer of right hand-drive vehicles (also known as Weshi vehicles), said: “We buy them in Dubai and import them to Afghanistan through Bandar Abbas and Nimroz.”

Reminded of the ban on the import of these automobiles, he asked: “When the government charges duty on them and our business is going well, why importing the automobiles should be outlawed.”

Abdul Hadi Stanikzai, deputy director of customs for Nimroz. Insisted containers carrying right hand drive--vehicles were taxed in line with guidelines from the Ministry of Finance and the General Department of Customs.

He, however, explained these vehicles were supposed to be transferred to Pakistaninfo-icon via Spin Boldak and Torkham ports after taxes were paid. Driving such vehicles is not allowed in Afghanistan.

Abdullah, a resident of Farah province, said: “We use the right hand-drive vehicles because they are inexpensive, have good quality and the government doesn’t stop them.”

Licence and number plate

In Farah, he said, people do not use fake licences and number plate because there is no ban on the use of right hand drive-vehicles in the province.

But people who want to travel in these vehicles from Farah to Herat use phony number plates and licences because unregistered automobiles are not allowed into Herat.

He claimed anyone could easily get a bogus licence or a registration plate from showrooms in return for 2,500 to 3,000 afghanis.

In the past, Abdullah recalled, police used to receive 500 afghanis for every right hand-drive vehicle upon entry into Herat, but the number of such automobiles has increased in the absence of effective law enforcement.

In 2012, the government issued five-year licences for 6,000 right hand-drive vehicle in violation of the traffic laws that are in force in the country.

Ahmad Taufiq, head of the Traffic Regulation Department for Farah, said police had not received orders to stop right hand-drive vehicles. The government might register all unregistered vehicles to prevent further problems, he suggested.

However, he vehemently denied the sale of fake licences and registration plates in Farah, saying the allegation could not be substantiated independently.

nh/mud

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