Prime Minister Hun Sen has urged customs officials to heighten vigilance against vehicle smuggling during the campaign for the July 27 national election.
“When we are all busy preparing for the election, the smugglers are likely to take advantage of the situation,” Hun Sen said on May 28.
The prime minister also warned customs officials not to become directly involved in the campaign.
"Customs officials are not supposed to campaign with others ... the duty of customs officials is to collect money," he said.
In a related development, Economics and Finance Minister Keat Chhon has announced the creation by the Customs and Excise Department of a mobile team to crack down on all kinds of smuggling.
The team will be on duty during busy times, such as the election campaign, Chhon said.
Meanwhile, Son Chhay, an SRP lawmaker and chairman of the National Assembly’s commission on Public Works, Transport, Post and Telecommunications, Industry, Energy and Commerce, told the Post on May 29 he expected little to come from the prime minister's order.
“He [Hun Sen] just wanted to sound good," Chhay said, accusing the Cambodian People's Party of complicity in vehicle smuggling to raise funds, including for the election campaign. (Kay Kimsong)