The black Audi has a reputation in China as the car of choice for the rich and powerful. Or for anyone pretending to be rich and powerful. And sometimes the dividing line between reality and pretense can become blurred. With the headline “Car blocks entrance to small community, is it the car that’s awesome or the driver?”, the front page of the Zhoukou Evening Paper from Zhoukou (周口) in eastern Henan today relates the story of a black Audi whose driver, a traffic policeman, clearly considers himself above the law.
At around 1 pm on Tuesday this week, members of a residential community on Zhongzhou Road (中州路) in the city of Zhoukou in Henan province were perplexed to find an Audi A6 with license plate AC0298 parked in front of the gate of their community, blocking all traffic in and out.
A journalist rushed over to the scene and soon found out who the absent driver was, as this is apparently not the first (but the third) time this had happened: a young man aged 20 who wears a police uniform.
According to the article, the guard explained:
The black Audi didn’t have the requisite card to enter, so I wouldn’t let him in. I asked him why he wanted to enter, but he didn’t reply, so we we’re deadlocked. This lasted for about a minute, whereupon the driver got out of his car, locked the doors, and walked off with the young woman he had with him in the car, which was left there in front of the gate.
About an hour later the driver of the Audi appeared again, and some of the residents – now clearly somewhat perplexed as no-one could drive in or out – tried to reason with him. But with a cigarette in his mouth he was completely unperturbed and deaf to their appeals. Someone soon phoned the (real) police, who checked up on the license plate. Turns out not only was the license plate fake, so were the tags on the windshield. Yet it emerged that the driver – a man named Li – was indeed a member of the traffic police of the local Public Security Bureau (PSB).
At 4 pm on Tuesday when the journalist left the scene, the black Audi was still there. But when he returned the next morning, he found the Audi parked on the inside. A resident then informed him that the previous evening at 6 pm, an officer of Mr Li’s PSB unit had appeared with said Mr Li to apologize for the inconvenience.
Not satisfied at leaving it there, the journalist went over to the traffic police where Mr Li worked to ask him about the fake plate and tags. Mr Li insisted that he had only lent the car from someone else (whom he would not name), and knew nothing about the fake plate and tags.
The newspaper ends its report by noting that fake number plates can land you in jail for 15 days and cost you a fine of up to 5,000 yuan. Yet it then asks forlornly: will Mr Li face justice?
Links and sources
Zhoukou Evening Paper (周口晚报): 车堵小区门，是车牛，还是人牛？