Vietnamese official had state-owned car with fake license plate

By Nguyen Dung, Thanh Nien News

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The Toyota Land Cruiser used by Ho Anh Tuan, chief of the Ha Tinh Economic Zone’s management board. Photo: Nguyen Dung

The management board of a provincial economic zone in the north-central province of Ha Tinh claims its chief was unaware that his luxury car once sported a fake license plate.
Police made the discovery after stopping Ho Anh Tuan, chief of the Ha Tinh Economic Zone’s management board, while driving his Toyota Land Cruiser to work.
The car bore a blue-colored license plate with the number 38A-000.23.
Police said they had not licensed any state-owned car with that number.
In Vietnam, blue-colored plates designate cars used by government officials.
On Wednesday, the management board told the press that Tuan’s driver had willingly installed a fake plate on the car and Tuan was totally unaware of the act.
Vu Ngoc Thanh, a spokesman for the board, said the car was a gift from Laos to a Vietnamese Border Guard Unit, which in turn gifted the car to Ha Tinh’s government.
The board then borrowed the car from the provincial government, he said.
Thanh said Tuan’s driver installed the fake blue-colored plate to facilitate the car’s movement. In Vietnam, traffic police cannot stop government-owned cars.
Tuan thought that the car had been licensed for travel, he said.
An official with Ha Tinh Traffic Police Division said they are still investigating, adding that the board may be fined for failing to register a car properly and for using a fake license plate.
The Toyota Land Cruiser is estimated to worth VND3 billion (US$142,000) in Vietnam.

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