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

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • Chinese may be first in tourism revival: PM

    Cambodia's tourism industry is gearing up to roll out the red carpet for Chinese travellers after Prime Minister Hun Sen on September 17 indicated that the Kingdom could soon throw open its doors to international holidaymakers vaccinated against Covid-19 – starting with guests from China. Cambodia Chinese

  • Tourism concerns laid bare

    To ensure the success of plans to reopen the tourism market for international visitors, Cambodia must pay utmost attention to two primary determinants – the ongoing paradigm shift in domestic tourism services towards the ‘new normal’, and the factors influencing choices of destinations among foreign holidaymakers.

  • Covid jab drive for 6-11 age group to begin Sept 17

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has permitted Covid-19 vaccinations for over 1.8 million children aged 6-11 across the country from September 17 in order for them to return to school after a long hiatus. Hun Sen also hinted that vaccinations for the 3-6 age group will follow in

  • No ‘Crown Prince’ exists to buy France football club: ministry

    The Ministry of the Royal Palace has denied media reports that a Cambodian “Crown Prince” had purchased the AS Saint Etienne football club of France’s top-flight LIGUE 1 at the cost of €100 million ($117 million). In a press statement on September 19, the ministry stressed that Cambodia

  • Cambodian bride ‘badly treated, held captive’ by Chinese man seeks help

    A Cambodian woman who travelled to China to marry a Chinese man there was “badly treated” by her husband’s family and then had to be rescued and will be returned to Cambodia to ensure her safety. The rescue operation came about after the 25-year-old