Smugglers using fake number plates

Rautahat, December 16:

Smugglers have been using more than one registration plate in vehicles to hoodwink the cops, detained truck drivers revealed.

Changing the registration number at different points on the highway helps the smugglers to conceal their identity, which means inability on part of the police to identify the real perpetrator.

Alleged lack of sincerity in police administration is also fuelling the problem. Locals said the use of genuine and bogus number plates at the same time is on the rise as traffic police and police check posts along the highway tolerate them for petty sums received from the perpetrators.

Though the traffic police intercept the cargo trucks in every district, instead of verifying the bluebook, their main concern is how to make money.

Two trucks were impounded last month by Rautahat district forest office that bore fake number plates and were ferrying smuggled timber. A truck with Indian registration was found to be using a Nepali registration plate, Ba 1 Kha 2564. Another Nepali number plate,

Na 1 Kha 5819, was found under the driver’s seat. Similarly, a bogus registration number plate, Ba 1 Kha 1136, was used to replace the genuine number Ga 1 Ka 866.

Ironically, the police never got a clue of such malpractices though these vehicles were plying for months on the highway.

The traffic police, during the road interception of vehicles, check road permit, driver’s license, renewal of the bluebook and take action accordingly, said a traffic police at mid-regional traffic police office. However, it’s rare that they verify the engine number and chassis number with the bluebook, he added.

“The traffic checking on the highway can be evaded on the payment of Rs 50 to Rs 200 depending on the circumstances,” said a truck owner, who was nabbed by the forest office for using fake number plate.

Deputy Superintendent of Police at mid-regional traffic police office, Pathlaiya, Uma Shanker Panjiyar said all traffic police offices had been issued with directives to curb such malpractices.