Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Border police demand bribes, travellers claim

Border police demand bribes, travellers claim

Border police demand bribes, travellers claim

Travellers and migrant workers accused border police at the Poipet Cambodian-Thai international checkpoint in Banteay Meanchey province yesterday of demanding bribes of nearly $20 from first-time border crossers and $3 bribes from those who regularly make the crossing in exchange for permission to enter Thailand.

Sao Mony, 19 – a resident of Chey Krohim village in Prey Veng province’s Pearaeng district – said that he, along with six others in his group, was asked to pay 600 baht (about $19.50) by border police in order to cross at the Poipet checkpoint. He added that repeat travellers told him that they were asked to pay 100 baht.

“It is not proper procedure, because the border police still ask us to pay money regardless of the legal passports we are holding,” he said.

Rin Bona, 25, was one of a group of 10 workers with permission to work in Thailand’s Sakeo province who said that he was asked to pay 400 baht despite being a frequent crosser.

According to clothing vendor Khiev Borei, bribery is rife at the crossing. Bribes are paid in stages, he added, with 100 to 600 baht going towards an unofficial fee for a passport stamp, and another 30,000 riel ($7.50) being paid to Cambodian border police upon delivery of a seven-day validation document issued by the Thais.

Sam Chankea, a provincial co-ordinator for the rights group Adhoc, said that such bribes were not uncommon, but rather “the culture” at the Poipet crossing.

“The striking point is whether the officials of the Anti-Corruption Unit are aware of it or not, because it has a critical impact on social order and the reputation of the country,” he said.

The border checkpoint’s director could not be reached for comment yesterday, but provincial police chief Kheng Sum said that he had ordered border police not to charge visitors at all.

“The case of travellers paying the border police at the border checkpoint in exchange for getting faster service and avoiding being in the queue does not exist anymore now,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kim Sarom at [email protected]

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all