Farmers in Banteay Meanchey province have informed the rights group Adhoc that local border officials have established illegal checkpoints in their village to demand money for the right to transport cassava and rice for sale in Thailand.
Thma Puok district governor Plek Vary said he did not support the establishment of checkpoints more than 500 metres from the border. “I told the officials not to do this, but they did not listen,” he said.
Chief of Boeung Trakuon border Nou Yort said on Tuesday the check points are there to stop “illegal businessmen” from entering Thailand by routes that avoid Boeung Trakuon.
“The Provincial Governor Ung Oeun created a committee for us to crack down on illegal goods smuggling,” he said. “We are trying to make these people use the legal border so money goes to the government.”