Hundreds of cars with expired diplomatic license plates found in Hanoi

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Seized cars with diplomatic plates sold at an auction in the northern province of Phu Tho last year

The Hanoi traffic police have detected 508 cars with expired diplomatic license plates and asked these owners to register the vehicles.

The cars were registered by diplomats, who enjoy tax exemption, but later sold illegally to locals when they left Vietnam, a police source said May 17.

The Da Nang City customs has also reported there are around 20 cars registered by diplomats whose licenses have expired, and they include Ferraris, Bentleys, Porsches, BMWs and Mercedes.

According to the Ministry of Public Security, some 4,000 cars with diplomatic plates were registered between 1998 and 2009, and thousands were illegally transferred to locals to evade tax.

The buyers of these cars are supposed to pay the tax that was originally waived for the diplomats.

The Ministry of Public Security has urged them to go to customs offices to pay the tax and to police agencies for registration procedures.

The ministry will seize vehicles not registered afresh by June 10.

The government has offered them an amnesty, promising not to fine them.

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