Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Immigration department requests border changes

Immigration department requests border changes

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cambodian workers cross the border into Thailand at Daung International Check Point in Battambang province in 2016. Heng Chivoan

Immigration department requests border changes

The General Department of Immigration has requested the Ministry of Interior to close down several border checkpoints and add new facilities to issue border permits to prevent migrant workers from crossing illegally and to stop smuggling.

The request followed a meeting on border checkpoints and the use of border permits led by Ministry of Interior secretary of state Sok Phal on Monday morning.

The meeting was attended by an undersecretary of state, the deputy National Police chief in charge of border security, the deputy director of the General Department of Immigration and other officials.

Phal said establishing new border checkpoints in key areas and adding facilities to issue border permits would prevent the illegal migration of workers and the smuggling of goods.

“The department encourages the opening of several new Thai-Cambodian border checkpoints that require people to use border permits that are officially recognised by the two countries. When new official checkpoints are opened, the government will close down unauthorised ones.

“In the meeting, we requested [Minister of Interior] Samdech [Sar Kheng] to close down some border checkpoints, but we have not identified which ones yet . . . we are asking for guidance first. There are too many corridors that people are using every day,” he said.

Phal said the Cambodian and Thai governments had already opened four new international checkpoints – such as Phnom Dei Checkpoint in Battambang province and Stung But Checkpoint in Banteay Meanchey province – and the General Department of Immigration was working to establish two more.

Moeun Tola, the executive director of the Centre for Alliance of Labour and Human Rights, told The Post that he strongly supported and welcomed any government action to reduce illegal migration and the smuggling of goods.

“Closing checkpoints can be effective because many people cross the border illegally. It will also help reduce human trafficking. But the degree to which it’s effective depends on clamping down on corrupt border officials.

“Unless there is close collaboration between Cambodian and Thai authorities, they won’t be able to reduce corruption,” he said.

Before Monday’s meeting, the Ministry of Interior’s website outlined the main areas to be discussed.

“There are three urgent tasks to be solved. First, increase the number of facilities issuing border permits. Second, establish new border checkpoints in important areas. Third, keep current checkpoints in their same state for a while because legal agreements with bordering countries can take a long time,” the ministry wrote.

Chhum Socheat, the undersecretary of state and spokesman for the Ministry of National Defence, said on July 3 that the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces had cracked down on 2,981 crimes near the Kingdom’s borders this year.

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Kampot tourism quay ‘90% done’

    Construction on Kampot International Tourism Port – a 4ha quay in Teuk Chhou district about 6km west of Kampot town – has fallen off track, reaching 90 per cent completion, according to a senior Ministry of Tourism official last week. The project is now planned to be finished

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42