Measures revealed to resolve illegal car imports
The government has instructed the Ministry of Finance to work with the relevant departments to carry out earnest inspection and investigation into the illegal importation of 5,639 cars, aiming to resolve the issue.
Dr Chaleun Yiapaoher addresses the press conference.
The instruction was made at the meeting between Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and his deputies that took place on Monday at the Prime Minister's Office, the government spokesman Prof Dr Chaleun Yiapaoher told a press conference on Wednesday.
Customs Department under the ministry reported recently that the vehicles were impounded in the fiscal year of 2015-2016. The illegal import of the vehicles cost the state some 66 billion kip in lost revenue.
The Monday meeting resolved that those cars that were stolen from a neighbouring country and brought into Laos illegally for sale on the black market shall be returned to their country of origin.
Those found involved in the illegal action are subject to be punished in line with the country's laws.
“The meeting resolved that an official ceremony to return the cars is to be held,” Dr Chaleun told local media.
Those cars imported into Laos intentionally facilitated by fake documents shall be seized as state assets and those found guilty shall be penalised in line with the relevant laws.
In case a company or companies were found involved in the illegal imports, their business licenses shall be revoked. To take action to address the issue, the meeting told the Ministry of Finance to form two working teams – one is in charge of carrying out inspection and another is in charge of collecting the cars.
In case cars were imported illegally that individual residents have bought without their knowledge, the vehicle owners are required to pay obligation fees and fines in line with the relevant laws and regulations.
Those vehicle owners who refuse to observe this rule will have their vehicles seized.
The meeting also outlined measures to resolve the issue concerning 1,947 cars imported into Laos to be exported to a third country, which are still parked at the Thanalaeng Warehouse at the 1st Laos-Thailand Friendship Bridge Customs Checkpoint.
In this regard, the meeting warned the importing companies about 435 vehicles, which have been placed at the Thanalaeng Warehouse for more than four months that exceeded legally-defined time to clear all procedures within the appropriate time. In relation to this case, the relevant authorities will issue a deadline at a later date, and if not the vehicles will be seized.
The government also warned the importing companies of the remaining 1,512 cars to complete all the legal procedures and to collect the vehicles within the defined four-month time frame, and if not the cars will be seized.
In addition, Dr Chaleun stated that the meeting called for inspection to find out if there have been any irregularities in the process of vehicles being imported for export to a third country.
“Disciplined measures shall be strictly taken against those companies that violate the laws as well as those officials who conspire and facilitate the illegal import of the vehicles,” the spokesman said.
The meeting entrusted the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, the Ministry of National Defence and the Ministry of Public Security to review the unlawful issuance of number plates for vehicles under their responsibilities and report the findings back to the government at the later date.
They were also asked to review the existing regulations that regulate vehicle number plates in an attempt to prevent unsuitable issuances of the plates.
By Souksakhone Vaenkeo
(Latest Update January 27, 2017)