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Police to Crack Down on Cars With Foreign Plates

The creation of a new database will make it easier for the state to fine drivers who escape punishment because their cars have foreign license plates, a news report said Monday.

Cameras currently used by Russian authorities are unable to read foreign plates, which means that drivers who break the law cannot be identified and punished.

But the Interior Ministry and Federal Customs Service have teamed up to tighten the regime to enforce the payment of penalties.

"The Interior Ministry and the customs service want to create a new database that will give customs information about cars crossing the border," an unidentified Interior Ministry official told Kommersant in Monday's issue.

"Access to this information will enable cameras to identify foreign license plates and issue fines," the official said.

Information about driving infringements will be passed by the Interior Ministry to the customs service, and the next time the driver tries to cross the border, he will be asked to pay.

Foreigners who refuse to pay their outstanding fines will be denied the right to re-enter Russia, while Russian citizens will simply be stopped from bringing the car back over the border.

At present, the law allows people to import cars from abroad but they must change to Russian license plates within six months or face the prospect of paying a fine.

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