Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Saturday, July 31, 1999 Published at 13:32 GMT 14:32 UK


World: Europe

Moscow car thieves get green light

Muscovites are sceptical of the police scheme

By Andrew Harding in Moscow

Police in Moscow are so overwhelmed by the huge number of stolen cars in the city that they have decided to stop seizing them and will from now on ignore the problem.

There were reported to be almost 500,000 stolen vehicles in the Russian capital at the end of last year.

The city's notoriously corrupt traffic police say they can no longer cope with the flood of stolen cars pouring into the country, mainly from Europe.

Police car pounds are already overflowing and officials are sinking beneath piles of paperwork.

Few of the vehicles are ever returned to their rightful owners.

Rather than tackling the problem, the police have now decided to ignore it.

New rules

According to a new decree, people driving stolen foreign cars can simply register with the police.

They will be given a piece of paper saying "Wanted by Interpol" to put on their dashboard.

If the real owner fails to track them down within a year the car is officially theirs.

Of course, the rule only applies within Russia itself.

For some motorists who unwittingly bought stolen cars, the scheme may well be good news.

But many Muscovites remain deeply sceptical, convinced that it will simply turn out to be another way for the traffic police to collect bribes.



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©




Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia



Relevant Stories

17 May 99 | Europe
Stepashin vows to fight economic crime





Internet Links


Russian Government


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Violence greets Clinton visit

Russian forces pound Grozny

EU fraud: a billion dollar bill

Next steps for peace

Cardinal may face loan-shark charges

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

Trans-Turkish pipeline deal signed

French party seeks new leader

Jube tube debut

Athens riots for Clinton visit

UN envoy discusses Chechnya in Moscow

Solana new Western European Union chief

Moldova's PM-designate withdraws

Chechen government welcomes summit

In pictures: Clinton's violent welcome

Georgia protests over Russian 'attack'

UN chief: No Chechen 'catastrophe'

New arms control treaty for Europe

From Business
Mannesmann fights back

EU fraud -- a billion-dollar bill

New moves in Spain's terror scandal

EU allows labelling of British beef

UN seeks more security in Chechnya

Athens riots for Clinton visit

Russia's media war over Chechnya

Homeless suffer as quake toll rises

Analysis: East-West relations must shift