Claiming that nearly all of the cars stolen in Thailand are eventually smuggled through Cambodia, Thai and Cambodian officials have agreed upon an accord that will force greater cooperation between the two countries to fight this illegal trade.
The draft on smuggled vehicles was first discussed in Thailand last month, according to Customs Director Pen Siman, and finalized last week in Phnom Penh. Another Cambodian delegation will be sent to Thailand to continue discussions on this issue following the Khmer New Year, Pen Siman said.
A recent one-week crackdown on smuggling along the Thai-Cambodian border resulted in an approximately $263,000 gain in customs revenue for Cambodian authorities, who regularly lose thousands of dollars in lost tax revenue to smugglers, Pen Siman said.
Cambodian officials have targeted vehicles and fuel as the two most frequently smuggled materials. The government estimates it loses about $800,000 monthly in customs revenue to fuel smugglers.