Feeds

Iranian pimp plates arse up Afghan car sales

Buyers shun '39' numberplates of shame

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

An Iranian pimp dubbed "39" has been fingered as the possible cause of a dramatic slump in car sales in the Afghan capital Kabul, Reuters reports.

The Iranian in question apparently had a "flashy" motor whose number plate contained the number 39. This became his nickname and subsequently a signifier for "pimp".

The term recently spread to "deeply conservative" Afghanistan, and buyers are refusing to have anything to do with vehicles bearing the shameful digits. This is a bit of a problem since the latest five-number sequence on licence plates begins with "39".

Those unfortunate enough to have bought a new pimpmobile before the terrible truth was revealed are having a hard time of it. Victim Mohammad Ashraf lamented: "Now even little kids say 'look, there goes the 39'. This car is a bad luck, I can't take my family out in it."

Car dealer Mohammad Jawed, who stumped $10,000 for a tainted Toyota Corolla a few months back, reckons it's glued to the parking lot for the foreseeable future. He said: "No one wants to buy this car anymore, even though I would sell it now for $6,000."

Fellow trader Najibullah Amiri, who's head of Kabul's union of car dealers, believes bent coppers may have encouraged the Persian pimp rumour, since "officials at the police traffic department charge buyers between $200 and $500 to change a '39' number plate for a new car to something less offensive".

He insisted: "It is a scheme by the police traffic department to earn money from buyers."

Akbar Khan, deputy chief exec of Kabul's Traffic Police, rejected the claim. He blamed the good burghers of the "auto import hub" city of Herat, close to the Iranian border, for inventing the 39 tale, which he dismissed as "nonsense". ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Criticism of Uber's journo-Data Analytics plan is an Attack on DIGITAL FREEDOM
First they came for Emil – and I'm damn well SPEAKING OUT
'It is comforting to know where your data centres are.' UK.GOV does NOT
Plus: Anons are 'wannabes', KKK says, before being pwned
Google's whois results say it's a lousy smut searcher
Run whois google.com or whois microsoft.com. We dare you, you PIG◙◙◙◙ER
Holy vintage vehicles! Earliest known official Batmobile goes on sale
Riddle me this: are you prepared to pay US$180k?
'Open source just means big companies can steal your code.' O RLY?
Plus: Flame of the Week returns, for one night only!
NEWSFLASH: It's time to ditch dullard Facebook chums
Everything hot in tech, courtesy of avian anchor Regina Eggbert
Hey, you, PHONE-FACE! Kickstarter in-car mobe mount will EMBED your phone into your MUG
Stick it on the steering wheel and wait for the airbag to fire
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.