Curse of 39 a blow to Afghan traffic police revenue
The curse of 39 refers to the belief that the number 39 is purportedly linked with prostitution and is considered to be a badge of shame.
The origin of the this belief is unclear; however, it has widely been claimed to have been associated with a pimp, allegedly living in the western city of Herat, who was nicknamed “39” after the plate number of his luxury car. Some accuse corrupt police officials of spreading the rumor in order to illicit bribes from car owners to change a “39” plate number.
The Traffic Directorate officials have repeatedly discouraged people from taking the rumors about the number seriously.
“These rumors are meaningless. We cannot delete number plates that include 39 in them,” said Traffic Directorate Chief Assadullah.
In the meantime, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) has also said that number 39 will not be cut from the licensing system and it will be distributed to car owners.
According to MoI spokesperson Sediq Sediqi, mafia groups benefit from such numbers. They purchase cars with number 39 plate number at low rates and sell at high prices, added Sediqi.
Officials from the Ministry of Economy (MoE) and the National Economic Committee House have expressed dissatisfaction about the implementation of
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