17032015Tue

Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

Indian diplomatic staff owe nearly £3m in Congestion Charge fines

Indian diplomats in London owe nearly £3 million in congestion fines, roughly 5% of all outstanding fines.

The numbers were revealed by Foreign Secretary William Hague to parliament on Thursday.
Mr Hague said that the figure for unpaid congestion charges has been rising since the scheme was introduced in 2003.

A Foreign Office spokesman told the BBC however, that whilst the congestion charge was considered a "service rendered" under diplomatic rules, diplomats cannot be prosecuted for non-payment due to legal immunity.

London's foreign diplomats owe more than £67m in congestion charge fines in total with the US Embassy leading the way with more than £7.2m owed.

After the US, Russia owes the most (£4.89 million from 42,310 fines), followed by Japan (£4.85 million from 42,206 fines).

About 22,500 people get diplomatic immunity in the UK and Mr Hague said "the majority" abide by UK law.

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