Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Vendor crackdown underway in Phnom Penh

Vendor crackdown underway in Phnom Penh

Balloon vendors waits for customers along Phnom Penh’s Sihanouk Boulevard yesterday.
Balloon vendors waits for customers along Phnom Penh’s Sihanouk Boulevard yesterday. Heng Chivoan

Vendor crackdown underway in Phnom Penh

Vendors are no longer allowed to sell on the capital’s busier thoroughfares, like those near the Royal Palace and Independence Monument, according to statements by Daun Penh District Governor Kouch Chamroeun yesterday.

In interviews with local TV channels posted on the official Daun Penh district Facebook page, Chamroeun said that the vendors create traffic congestion, especially in areas near tourist attractions. He also warned that gas tanks used by balloon vendors could explode, “causing accidents affecting tourists”.

As a solution, he suggested moving the vendors to other less busy locations, and maintained that police were not fining them.

“If it were Pol Pot, he’d have his own way of dealing with such a thing,” he said, in reference to repeat offenders.

However, his claims of foregoing fines were contradicted by multiple vendors yesterday.

Yart Thim, a 24-year-old who sells fried insects in front of the Royal Palace, said that the police had fined and detained him for the entire day multiple times. The fines ranged from $5 to $10, though Thim says he made about $50 to $100 a day.

“This is a convenient place where many drivers can stop and buy,” he said, explaining why he didn’t want to move.

To Chantha, a 29-year-old balloon vendor, claimed he was attacked by police with an electric baton. Chantha said police then took his money as well as his products.

“We are still struggling to earn a living peacefully because the police chase and disturb us,” Chantha said.

Fellow balloon vendor Khim Kee, 25, said she had become frightened of the police, before questioning Chamroeun’s logic for singling out balloon sellers.

“I have never heard of an explosion because of a balloon gas tank,” she said.

City Hall spokesman Mean Chanyada, meanwhile, seemed to contradict Chamroeun, saying that as long as balloon vendors respected public order they would be allowed to sell.

“But if they sell it in the street, we will call them in for education about not causing anarchy like that,” he warned.

“We are starting to prepare designated areas for people to sell goods near the Royal Palace”, he added.

A popcorn vendor, who asked to remain anonymous, said yesterday that police had already told her to sell farther from the road.

“They chase us as if we are selling drugs,” she said, stopping to help a customer driving by on a moto. “We are just selling corn in front of our house.”

MOST VIEWED

  • US imposes sanctions on Oknha Pheap and Kun Kim

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed strong dismay on Monday over the designation of Cambodian tycoon Oknha Try Pheap and General Kun Kim under the US’ Global Magnitsky Act. “It is very disturbing when the public figures of a country become the

  • Mother, daughter killed in hotel fire

    The bodies of a mother and daughter were found locked in an embrace after they were killed in a hotel fire in Phnom Penh at around 3:30am on Wednesday at the Phkar Chhouk Tep 2 Hotel and Restaurant in Phsar Doeum Kor commune, in the capital’

  • EBA withdrawal a destruction of EU achievements, PM says

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the EU’s possible suspension of its Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement amounted to a destruction of its achievements in the Kingdom and the demise of the opposition group. Hun Sen made the remarks while addressing more than 6,700 students during

  • Rights Day forum denied in Sihanoukville

    The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration last Saturday denied the request of land communities for a public location in the province to celebrate International Human Rights Day 2019 as the administration had already held forums to discuss land issues. However, the land community representatives said they would

  • Kingdom calls on Japan to increase number of direct flights to Siem Reap, Phnom Penh

    Cambodia is requesting Japan to increase the number of direct flights from Japanese cities and provinces to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, so as to contribute to increasing cooperation and tourist numbers between the two countries. During the opening ceremony of 3rd Japan Travel Fair

  • Sri Lanka’s LOLC Holdings plans to sell Cambodian unit

    LOLC Holdings Plc, Sri Lanka’s second-largest publicly traded company by revenue, plans to sell its 70 per cent stake in Prasac Microfinance Institution Ltd, which also counts Hong Kong’s Bank of East Asia Ltd. as a shareholder, LOLC deputy chairman Ishara Nanayakkara said. Nanayakkara