By Gabriel Harrison.
Tunis, 28 July 2017:
In a directive sent to Tripoli Security Directorate, the city’s prosecutor, Mohamed Abdal-Wahab Salim, has ordered the police to take action against drivers using vehicles without registration plates and/or with darkened windows.
“We have seen through the daily reports of crimes and files transmitted to the public prosecution office that most cases of murder and robbery are committed by [by those in] cars with tinted windows and without registration plates,” the directive said. “These cars prevent us from knowing who the perpetrators are.”
This is not the first time orders have been given to seize such vehicles. There have been dozens of attempts, all of them a failure, even when there was relative law and order in the country.
In January 2013, the head of Tripoli police warned that any vehicle without a number plate or with an invalid foreign plate would be confiscated. The next month, Benghazi National Security Directorate also announced that it would take legal action against car owners without number plates or with tinted glass. Three months after that the Ministry of Interior said that it would impound any vehicle without a number plate.
By July 2014, just before the government was forced to flee the capital, the police were still saying that they were clamping down on tinted windows and vehicles without registration plates.
Interestingly, in June 2014 a similar campaign in Janzour was suspended because it was too successful. The Janzour Security Directorate had seized so many cars without plates there was no longer space to hold them in the two appropriated parking lots.