The opposition SRP called on the government May 7 to help Cambodian farmers who are waiting payment on 5,000 tons of corn that a Singaporean shipping company allegedly transported to Vietnam without making payment.
During a discussion at the National Assembly on May 7 SRP lawmaker Yim Sovann appealed to the government to bring the ship owned by Singaporean firm Aegis Capital back from the Hai Phong port in northern Vietnam.
“Hundreds of farmers have been left unpaid, but the ship is left at the port [in Vietnam],” Mr Sovann said at the Assembly during a discussion on an agreement between Vietnam and Cambodia on the transportation of goods across waterways.
On Feb 25, a cargo ship called the Vien Dong 3 carrying 25 Vietnamese crew members left the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port with the corn haul, according to port officials.
Tram Iv Teuk, minister of public works and transport, dodged responding to Mr Sovann remarks about the corn haul on May 7.
“In this agreement we only talk about rivers,” he said. “It is not my responsibility,” the minister added.
Corn farmers and merchants, or middlemen, interviewed last week alleged the shipping company had failed to pay them about $270,000 for the corn they had bought from hundreds of rural farmers.
Nay Kim Yung, a Cambodian businessman who was responsible for the financial transactions between the Singaporean firm and the Cambodian merchants and farmers, has reportedly been trying to bring the corn back to Cambodia.
The Singaporean firm has yet to respond to requests for comment on the issue.