Cambodia plans to close all unofficial border crossings

A porter bring trade goods across the border to Thailand from Poipet.(Photo by KT/Chor Sokunthea)

PHNOM PENH: Interior Minister Sar Kheng has renewed his demand that officials close all unauthorised entry points to Cambodia to prevent human and drug trafficking and other transnational crimes.

Speaking at a ground-breaking ceremony for the new Poipet border checkpoint on Monday, he said unauthorised checkpoints lacked competent officials and provided no benefits, according to a report in the .

“We open many international border checkpoints and bilateral gates,” Mr Kheng said.

“Why it is necessary to keep unauthorised border crossings?”

He said the Poipet checkpoint was an important economic gateway to Cambodia, used by tourists crossing entering the country.

Officials and armed forces should to cooperate and build more official checkpoints with neighbouring countries, including Thailand, to serve the people and crack down on crime along the borders.

The Poipet checkpoint is to be renovated and faclities improved. The work will take about 18 months, paid for from the central government budget.

Banteay Meanchey provincial governor Soun Bava said recently the new building would provide many benefits for tourists and migrant workers.

They would be able to rest and buy food when they crossed the border, and it would be easier for officials to engage with them.

Mr Bava said the three-storey building on 1.5 hectares would also be able to issue passports and work visas.

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