Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Embassy in Thailand denies graft allegations




Embassy in Thailand denies graft allegations

Cambodian migrant workers wait with work documents in Poipet at the Thailand-Cambodia border in 2014.
Cambodian migrant workers wait with work documents in Poipet at the Thailand-Cambodia border in 2014. Hong Menea

Embassy in Thailand denies graft allegations

The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand has denied that officials request bribes from Cambodian migrant workers trying to apply for a passport.

In a statement on Friday, the embassy said that recently citizens had accused officials of asking Cambodian workers to pay between 3,000 and 6,000 baht (about $85 to $171) before helping them to apply for and obtain a passport. The allegations had circulated on social media for several weeks.

“The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand is pleased to clarify that the accusations are not true and they affect the embassy’s reputation as a representative of the nation,” the statement said.

The embassy added that in order to help illegal Cambodian workers, the Kingdom sent officials to provide their citizens with assistance and documents to get them on the path to legal work permits.

Over the past several years, however, some Cambodian migrant workers in Thailand have complained that passport fees end up being more than advertised.

“Corruption charges and unlawful behaviour by embassy officials is systematic concerning Myanmar, Cambodian and Laos migrant workers in Thailand,” said Andy Hall, a migrants’ rights activist focused on Thailand and Myanmar.

There are about 230,000 Cambodians working legally in Thailand, as well as approximately 640,000 undocumented workers, according to figures provided to Cambodia’s Labour Ministry by Thai authorities last April.

In 2015, the embassy requested passports for 68,174 Cambodians, according to the Foreign Ministry’s year-end report. The ministry wasn’t available for comment yesterday.

Additional reporting by Igor Kossov

MOST VIEWED

  • School reopening to be postponed until November

    Minister of Education Hang Chuon Naron on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Hun Sen requesting a delay of school reopening across the Kingdom until November, when the new academic year begins. In his letter, Chuon Naron said the postponement is warranted to avoid the new

  • Foreigners in Kingdom must now register in FPCS system

    The Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Immigration (GDI) announced that it would not grant visa extensions to foreigners staying in Cambodia if their names are not listed on the Foreigners Present in Cambodia System (FPCS) by July 1. Foreign nationals can register in the

  • Covid-19 at ‘alarming rate’, health ministry says

    The Covid-19 risk level for individual transmission is at an “alarming rate” in the Kingdom and its probability is “not low”, warned Health Ministry spokesperson Or Vandine. “Cambodia’s coronavirus scenario is classified as being at an early stage of the pandemic because of ongoing

  • Mandatory quarantine for 30,000 workers begins

    Some of the roughly 30,000 workers from factories and enterprises across the Kingdom who went on leave during Khmer New Year began their government-imposed 14-day quarantine on Monday. Speaking at a press conference while visiting workers at the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone on Monday, Ministry

  • Unemployed to get $40 per month

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has instructed enterprises, business owners and travel agencies in five provinces to prepare the proper forms for the suspension of employment contracts. This, it said, will make it easier for the ministry to transfer $40 a month to workers

  • Gov’t travel ban flouted

    While the majority of Cambodians have paid heed to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s order to stay put and not travel during the Khmer New Year – the holidays of which were also postponed – several hundred have left Phnom Penh nonetheless. They have allegedly breached provincial

  • G20 energy ministers struggle to finalise oil output cuts

    Top oil producers struggled to finalise production cuts during a virtual summit held by Group of 20 (G20) energy ministers on Friday, despite US President Donald Trump’s mediation efforts to end a standoff with Mexico. The final G20 communique appeared to gloss over simmering divisions

  • Kingdom revises travel restriction order

    The government on Friday eased the district and provincial border restrictions issued on Thursday. People are now allowed to cross districts within their provinces. Phnom Penh and Kandal province are to be treated as a single region where people are allowed to travel freely. In

  • Private schools struggling

    The Cambodian Higher Education Association has claimed that 113 private educational establishments are facing bankruptcy because of their inability to pay rent and staff salaries in light of nationwide school closures caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. It said the financial trouble started when the Ministry of

  • Khmer New Year holidays postponed

    In an effort to halt Covid-19 infections in the Kingdom, Prime Minister Hun Sen has postponed the Khmer New Year holidays scheduled from April 13 to 16. While the people will not have their usual break, nor will there be any public celebrations or gatherings at pagodas,