Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bribes and border woes hinder exhibition team




Bribes and border woes hinder exhibition team

Bribes and border woes hinder exhibition team

A team of Cambodians bringing products for exhibition to the Worldtech'95 festival

in Thailand said the trip was a nightmare with two days of flooding, soldiers demanding

bribes and problems with the border officials on both sides.

Cambodia was one of 25 countries invited to join the exhibition held by the Royal

Thai government in Nakhon Ratchasima, a northeast province of Thailand. The exhibition

lasts from Nov. 4 to Dec. 16.

The Cambodians from the ministries of Agriculture, Industry, Culture and Tourism,

were carrying handicrafts, Cambodian traditional costumes, varieties of rice, dry

and smoked fish, seafood, bottled sauces, agricultural tools, Angkor Beer and locally

manufactured cigarettes.

"We had many problems along the way from Phnom Penh to the border," said

Mean Bora, who was in charge of Cambodia's exhibit. He said they encountered "very

bad security" who demanded bribes, as well as floods along Route 5.

When they arrived at the border, Cambodian border officers demanded more money and

accused them of trying to export the goods illegally to sell in Thailand.

"We told them the items were for the exhibition, but they still demanded money,"

he said.

After they passed the Cambodian border there were more problems. At the Thai checkpoint,

officials of the military, police and Customs refused to allow them to bring in cigarettes,

beer and wine.

Bora said they showed a letter of permission from the Royal Thai Embassy, to no avail.

"They didn't even allow us to import pictures of the products," he said.

Pak Sokhom, vice chief of the exhibition committee, said the products were transported

by truck on Route 5 because the goods were too heavy to send them by plane. He blamed

the problems on a lack of coordination between Customs and the exhibition committee.

Kanchana Manaspaibool, of the Royal Thai Embassy to Cambodia, said "technical

mistakes" occurred because the Exhibition Team didn't submit its forms to the

Ministry of National Security in Thailand on time.

She said Customs agents refused to let in the beer and cigarettes because they didn't

have authorization from Bangkok.

Bora said despite the transportation headaches, all went well when they arrived at

the exhibition hall. The Cambodian exhibit was housed along with Vietnam and Malaysia

in a brand new exhibition hall, and it attracted many visitors. "Sixty percent

of the Thai people praised us," he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped

  • Kingdom, China rebut basis for US sanctions

    The Council for the Development of Cambodia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Tianjin Union Investment Development Group Co Ltd (Tianjin) have responded to US sanctions on Union Development Group Co Ltd (UDG), a Chinese-owned company currently developing the sprawling $3.8 billion Dara

  • Influenza breaks out in eight provinces

    Nearly 600 people have been infected with influenza in eight provinces in the past month, Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said. The ministry is advising extreme caution. A report released by Vandine on Saturday said the Ministry of Health observed transmissions of influenza between August 15

  • CNRP activist freed; Sam Rainsy pledges return to Kingdom

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday released former CNRP activist Oeur Narith on bail after the court ended its questioning on suspicion of receiving money from abroad and plotting to overthrow the government, according to the authorities. National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun confirmed

  • Hun Sen says developing nations ‘targets of rivalry’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen spoke at the virtual UN General Assembly on Monday, saying that developing nations often become targets of punishment for their imperfections when they don’t rise to the standards of developed countries. He said rivalries between superpowers often hamper developing countries’