The Ministry of Public Security has ordered the Hanoi police force to investigate the rampant street sales of traffic police uniforms that was recently reported by local newspaper Tien Phong (Vanguard).
Tien Phong reported that uniforms worn by the traffic police and sometimes those of the regular police are frequently sold on the sidewalks at the Nguyen Trai-Khuat Duy Tien intersection.
The uniforms of various sizes are priced at VND100,000-200,000 (US$4.7-9.4).
The media have reported a number of cases in which "normal" people dressed like traffic police officers have stopped vehicles violating traffic rules, fining the drivers and pocketing the money.
The scams stemmed from the fact that many traffic police officers routinely order traffic violators to pay cash on the spot rather than pay the fines afterwards at police stations.
Most violators accept for fear their vehicles would be confiscated, or because they want to avoid wasting time going to the police station to pay the fines.
A World Bank-funded survey last November found that the traffic police is the country's most corrupt institution.