Reports of Major Congestion at Poipet Checkpoint

Trucks and other vehicles have been backed up for up to a kilometer on either side of the Poipet border checkpoint for the past three days due to administrative changes on the Thai side, according to Cambodian officials.

Khiet Bunleap, chief of staff for the Poipet immigration police chief, said that the changes on the Thai side of the border were made to control illegal immigration.

“Thai immigration police are strengthening security with Cambodian migrant workers in Thailand, and for every car or truck crossing the international border checkpoint in Poipet, they have to check them one by one,” Mr. Bunleap said.

“It is the Thais’ problem inside Thailand, but our commercial trucks or cars trading goods from Cambodia to Thailand are moving slowly, making the traffic jam 10 times worse than normal,” he added.

“On our side, the traffic jam in front of the gate is only backed up about a half kilometer, but in Thailand, traffic has backed up for more than a kilometer beginning three days ago,” said Poipet City governor Ngor Mechroun.

Mr. Mechroun said that the reason for the backup was a personnel overhaul on the Thai side of the checkpoint.

“The problem is a slowdown by Thai immigration border police, who were replaced, but now we are talking with them to make things move quicker,” Mr. Mechroun said, adding that the clogged checkpoint was not connected to a recent order by Cambodia’s Ministry of Finance to tighten implementation of customs inspection and taxation along the border.

Thai Ambassador to Cambodia Pakdi Touchayoot said he was unaware of the increased traffic at the Poipet checkpoint, or any changes that have been made in Thai border security.

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