Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Taxi drivers, customs square off over ‘taxes’

Taxi drivers, customs square off over ‘taxes’

Taxis line up at the scene of a protest against unofficial payments and the seizure of two taxi cabs in Banteay Meanchey province. Photo supplied
Taxis line up at the scene of a protest against unofficial payments and the seizure of two taxi cabs in Banteay Meanchey province. Photo supplied

Taxi drivers, customs square off over ‘taxes’

About 50 members of the Peace Taxi Network marched from Banteay Meanchey’s Poipet town to Siem Reap province yesterday to demand that customs officials return two taxis seized last month and put an end to a system ridden with unofficial payments.

“We’re peacefully striking to demand the two cars and to stop the daily collection of money from our drivers, because we transport goods and it is not a crime,” said the network’s director, Oung Thabrang.

The drivers pick up goods after they have already cleared customs and been taxed, only to have additional payments demanded when they try to transport them to their Cambodian purchasers, he said.

But Banteay Meanchey provincial governor Soun Borvor said buyers of goods with high taxes sometimes try to skip paying, and that custom officials have been urged to put a halt to the smuggling.

He called for customs officials and the drivers to work together to find a solution. “This case has in the hands of upper-level officials already, so if we want to seek intervention to free those vehicles, it will be hard. But I am determined to negotiate,” he said.

Sum Chankea, provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, said: “The goods are checked at the international border checkpoint already and the customs officials should not pursue those hired vehicles.”

Banteay Meanchey customs director Chher Socheat declined to comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen warmly welcomed by president Biden

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, as ASEAN chair, and other ASEAN leaders were warmly welcomed by US president Joe Biden as the ASEAN-US summit May 12-13 kicked off today in Washington. “This evening, I welcomed ASEAN leaders to the White House for the first time in

  • Third Makro outlet planned for capital’s Chroy Changvar

    Makro (Cambodia) Co Ltd is set to invest $12.7 million in its third Cambodian outlet, this time in northeast Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district, an area dotted with high-end residential developments, as shopping behaviours continue to evolve in tandem with economic growth. The Cambodian Investment