Customs officials there yesterday demanded that the drivers present the original truckregistration book and submit a security sum of US$5,000 (Bt167,750) each. Although the procedures are in line with customs regulations, they have long been relaxed.
For years, trucks from Thai soil could move past the Poi Pet checkpoint by just presenting a copy of the truckregistration book. With no explanation, Cambodian customs officials in Poi Pet have stopped allowing Thai trucks to pass beyond their boundary by just presenting a copy of the truckregistration book.
When the procedures suddenly changed, more than 150 trucks got stuck in front of the Baan Klong Luek permanent checkpoint in Sa Kaeo’s Aranyaprathet district on the Thai side. The tailback stretched back as far as 500 meters since 9 am yesterday, paralysing traffic in nearby areas. The trucks were supposed to deliver products to Cambodia.
“We have no way to find money to post the $5,000 security sum,” a truck driver complained. Cambodia-Thailand Border Coordination Office official Leem Tek of reportedly told the drivers that some Cambodian customs officials took the move because they were unhappy with Thai officials. “They drove to Thailand but were asked to present some documents. Upset with the treatment, they have decided to stop being lenient with Thai trucks,” Leem Tek said.
Asked why the Cambodian customs officials did not inform the truck drivers in advance, he refused to give any answer and retreated to the Cambodian side. However, at 12.30pm, Cambodian customs officials agreed to let the trucks pass the Poi Pet checkpoint with just a copy of the truckregistration book for one day only. Although the decision quickly eased traffic congestion in front of the Ban Klong Luek checkpoint yesterday, it raised concern among the drivers about what was to come the next day.
Well, in my opinion, this is a little too much. They should have give the truck drivers notice in advance. They should use their common sense that the truckers won’t be carrying that large amount of cash. This will just cause trouble at the border. Maybe they are too bored at Poipet.