Cambodianess / By Lay Sopheavotey
PHNOM PENH – Interior Minister Sar Sokha has ordered an end to illegal border crossings to protect security and public order.
The move came after the ministry investigated irregularities such as border officers illicitly taking money from people such as migrant workers at the crossings.
“Provincial governors must shut down all illegal corridors within their authority,” Sar Sokha said in a letter.
“If necessary, governors should assess the economic and social potential of the existing border, then propose to the Ministry of Interior to decide on the establishment of an official border gate.”
This issue had adversely affected security, safety and public order along the border.
Nine provinces border Vietnam: Kandal, Takeo, Prey Veng, Svay Rieng, Kampong Cham, Kratie, Mondulkiri, Ratanakiri and Kampot.
There are seven provinces bordering Thailand: Preah Vihear, Oddar Meanchey, Banteay Meanchey, Battambang, Pursat and Koh Kong. Bordering Laos are Preah Vihear, Stung Treng and Ratanakkiri provinces.
Governors of all border provinces must take measures to strengthen the control of passengers, goods and means of going through the border to prevent all kinds of cross-border crime, Sokha said.
He said issuance of illegal passports and collection of fees from workers and the public when they pass through must be stopped immediately.
Sar Sokha advised all border officials to continue to provide public services and border card services to citizens without discrimination while managing the flow of people passing through the borders.
“Authorities must take strict legal action to crack down on the activities of brokers and accomplices that lure people to cross the border illegally in all forms,” he said.
Sokha said regular education and guidance on crossing borders with legal passports was needed to prevent human trafficking, labor exploitation and crime.
The Ministry of Interior plans to send a working group to evaluate border gate duties and has warned of legal action if irregular crossings occur due to improper performance.
Originally written in Khmer for ThmeyThmey, this article was translated by Nhor Sokhoeurn for Cambodianess