Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Border changes amid alleged gas smuggling

Border changes amid alleged gas smuggling

Border changes amid alleged gas smuggling

About a dozen Cambodians protested a Thai crackdown at a border checkpoint near Poipet on Saturday, causing a roadblock and prompting Cambodian authorities to negotiate with their Thai counterparts to postpone planned new restrictions on travel until after the Cambodian elections.  

Under new regulations demanded by Thailand, Cambodian drivers would need to show border authorities passports and visas obtained in advance to cross though the Klong Luek checkpoint in Aranyaprathet, Thailand, said Heng You Leng, acting director of Cambodia’s Cambodian-Thai Border Relations Office.

Cambodian authorities have persuaded the Thai side to continue allowing drivers to pass with border permits, which can be obtained on arrival, until Cambodia can process the new documents required for drivers, You Leng said.

The tightening of controls was provoked by Thai authorities’ suspicion that two Cambodian men had been smuggling liquefied petroleum gas across the border, said Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Koy Kuong.

“They suspect them of smuggling gas, and they don’t want to see one vehicle entering Thailand several times in a day to fill up gas,” he said.

Thailand wanted the restrictions “because they want to make sure that owners of personal vehicles have proper legal documents such as licences,” he added.

But for now, he said, border crossing into Thailand remains the same as before.

One of the drivers protesting the tightened regulations on Saturday, who asked not to be named, said Thai authorities recently had begun requiring that vehicles obtain a new border pass each day. They had previously allowed drivers to re-use border passes for multiple days, he said.  

Cambodian and Thai border officials will meet again after the Cambodian elections to negotiate the issue further.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Hor Namhong is scheduled to meet his Thai counterpart, Surapong Tovichakchaikul, on June 11 in Phnom Penh to discuss issues related to Cambodia-Thai border cooperation.

Additional reporting by Cheang Sokha

MOST VIEWED

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Prime Minister: Take back islands from inactive developers

    The government will “take back” land on roughly 30 islands from private companies that have not made progress on planned developments, Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a speech on Monday that also targeted land-grabbing villagers and idle provincial governors. Speaking at the inauguration of the

  • Land on capital’s riverfront is opened up for investment

    The government has signed off on a proposal to designate more than 9 hectares of land along Phnom Penh’s riverfront as state-private land, opening it up for private investment or long-term leasing. The 9.25-hectare stretch of riverfront from the capital’s Night Market to the