Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Porters dispute licence fee

Porters dispute licence fee

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A group of porters at O’Romduol border checkpoint accuse border police of demanding money to supply licence plates. post staff

Porters dispute licence fee

A group of porters at Battambang province’s O’Romduol border checkpoint have accused border police of demanding 20,000 riel ($5) to supply licence plates which are now required for carts delivering to the local Thai market. But border police refute the accusation.

Kim Sany, 25, told The Post on Wednesday that about three months ago, border police Unit 819 announced that unless the carts had number plates, they would not be allowed to deliver goods to the market in Thailand.

“[Paying] 20,000 riel may be affordable for people who have a lot of money, but for porters who only earn a little money every day, this is not a small amount,” he said.

He said most porters (out of the estimated 200) had paid because they feared the authorities would prevent them from delivering goods to the market once the order became effective. However, he and some others did not pay.

“The order became effective last Friday. Our team of about 20 porters was banned from entering the Thai market, known as Kabin market, by border police because my cart didn’t have a number plate.

“I wanted to pay for the plate, but the police said the expiry date had passed and I needed to pay a 30,000 riel fine. Including the fee for number plate and the fine, I have to pay 50,000 riel in total,” he said.

Border police Unit 819 chief Hing Uok told The Post on Wednesday that he refutes Sany’s claim. He claimed the comments were merely aimed at ruining his reputation.

“In October later year, there was a bipartisan meeting between provincial authorities in Thailand and Cambodia."

“The Thai authorities asked Cambodia to install number plates on carts to streamline operations and for the security of workers crossing the border."

“After receiving this request, Cambodian authorities issued number plates to all porters free of charge for three months to fulfil the Thai authorities’ requirement. We supplied [number plates for] a total of 135 carts.

“After [the order became effective], the Thai authorities refused entry into Thailand to any cart without a number plate.

“A group of Cambodian workers, over 20 people, asked the Cambodian authorities to help and talk with the Thai authorities. They promised to pay the police 20,000 riel. After we helped them, they then said the police had demanded they pay money for the number plates,” he said.

Another porter at the border crossing, Om Veasna, told The Post on Wednesday that he completely agrees with Uok.

He said that three months ago, nobody demanded money for the number plates because the Thai authorities were paying the fee.

“In order to improve relations, I and the others paid 50 baht or 5,000 riel to the people who processed the documents,” he said.

Seng Seila, a Cambodia-Thai border relationship officer based at O’Romduol checkpoint, said both the Thai and Cambodian authorities said it was intended to ensure proper oversight, public order, and security for the owners of the goods being transported.

“In the past, some Cambodian and Thai clients complained that they lost their belongings because they forgot which porter they had been using."

“They asked the authorities to put number plates on each cart passing the checkpoint. It is a good way to keep everything under control,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.

  • Gov’t says tourism recovers slightly despite pandemic

    The Ministry of Tourism and the Phnom Penh municipal administration have recognised 33 tourism businesses in the capital which have consistently implemented safety measures for tourists and adhered to the code of conduct issued by the ministry. Recently, the ministry announced that tourism businesses had to

  • Mull ASEAN border opening, PM urges

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that ASEAN launch a scenario for gradually reopening cross-border travel and trade between countries in the region. He said ASEAN has had more success combating Covid-19 compared to other regions. The prime minister’s request was made at the

  • Ministry reports 11 new Covid-19 cases, reiterates vigilance

    Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has urged people to continue practising virus prevention techniques after 11 people tested positive for Covid-19 within two days after arriving in the Kingdom. Speaking on Sunday, Bun Heng stressed the importance of washing hands, wearing masks or scarves when

  • Koh Rong land ‘belongs to firm’

    Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration spokesperson Kheang Phearum told The Post on Sunday that the 35ha being bulldozed by Royal Group Co Ltd in Koh Rong belongs to it after it was leased to it for 99 years by the government in 2008. Phearum said the land does

  • Nine on Indonesia flight Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health on Saturday confirmed nine more imported cases of Covid-19. The nine ‒ eight Cambodians and one Indonesian, aged 22 to 26 ‒ arrived in Cambodia on Thursday via a direct flight from Indonesia and are receiving treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hostipal in Phnom Penh.

  • Kingdom’s financial sector healthy

    Cambodia's financial sector remains on a sustainable growth path despite the Covid-19 pandemic squeezing crucial industries, National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) governor Chea Chanto said. Tourism, garments and footwear have borne the brunt of the Covid-19 impact, he said, whereas the financial and agriculture sectors

  • Vietnam told to remove border tents

    Kandal provincial governor Kong Sophoan has ordered local authorities to prohibit the construction of buildings in areas bordering Cambodia and to report any irregularities immediately. Recently, Vietnamese officials removed another seven tents from the border area with Cambodia. His remarks were made on Wednesday afternoon