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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Embassy hit by new charge complaints

Embassy hit by new charge complaints

CAMBODIAN workers in South Korea have accused Cambodian Embassy officials of overcharging for passports and other paperwork, according to a letter obtained by the Post.

“We all are workers who are working in Korea and wonder why the Cambodian Embassy in Korea charge for paperwork is very expensive,” the unsigned letter, received on Sunday, said.

“If we want to extend our passport for one more year, we have to pay 50,000 won (US$45) and if we want a new passport we have to pay 120,000,0 won ($1,010). That is the cost that our Cambodian Embassy takes from us,” said the letter.

The document claimed that workers were being charged 300,000 won to receive a worker visa letter if they had lost their passports.

“We don’t think the Cambodian government would set a price like they charged us and we saw an announcement letter from the Cambodian Embassy in Korea stating that all paper works do not need to be charged,” the letter continued.

It is not the first complaint levied at the embassy. In March this year, Cambodian workers in South Korea asked the government to investigate officials they claimed extorted money from them by increasing fees at the Cambodian Embassy in Seoul.

The Cambodian Ambassador in Seoul, Chan Ky Sim, since said in an announcement that “in order to avoid of some acts that incorrectly happen, which are created by bad people, on behalf of Cambodia, as Cambodian Ambassador, I want to announce again that extending passports and other certificates are issued free of charge.”

The writers of the anonymous letter, which was sent to government officials in Phnom Penh, should contact the Cambodian Embassy in Seoul if they want to complain against officials taking their money, said Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Koy Kuong on Monday.

“There are some bad people that use the embassy officials name to cheat the workers there in order to take the money for their own pocket, because we don’t have a policy for the embassy to charge money to Cambodian people.

“They have to find evidence and witnesses before they accuse the ambassador and embassy officials,” he said of the letter. Koy Koung added that he regretted that Cambodian workers still believed in passport brokers more than embassy officials. These workers should to come to the embassy by themselves, and not just believe what other people tell them, he said.

Heng Sour, director-general of administrative and financial office and chief of overseas manpower unit at the Ministry of Labour, said 2,116 Cambodians workers were in South Korea last year. So far this year, 4,255 Cambodian workers have flown out to work in South Korea, he said.



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