The People's Liberation Army (PLA) authorities are campaigning to improve military vehicle management to crack down on civil vehicles carrying counterfeit PLA plates.
Twenty-seven criminal groups involving more than 230 people have been nabbed for stealing and counterfeiting military plates since the campaign started in August, according to a report in Tuesday's People's Daily.
More than 360 stolen military plates have been recovered, and 1,566 fake military plates and 1,258 fake military vehicles confiscated.
The PLA authorities are also undertaking a campaign within the PLA to improve military vehicle management, calling for military drivers to abide by traffic regulations, after earlier reports reprimanded them for intentionally jumping red lights and ignoring traffic restrictions.
The fact that military vehicles do not have to pay expressway and highway tolls in China has led to a rash of fake military plates and vehicles.
Earlier reports said annual toll losses from the use of fake military plates and vehicles in Chongqing, which has 750 kilometers of expressway, amounted to 40 million yuan (US$5 million).
According to China's Law on Road Traffic Safety, vehicle drivers can be fined 200 yuan to 2,000 yuan for using counterfeit plates, and their vehicles confiscated by police departments.
The country's Criminal Law also stipulates that citizens counterfeiting more than three military plates face prison sentences of up to three years.
(Xinhua News Agency December 5, 2006)