The Golden Crown Casino in Poipet town was forced to fill a water duct system constructed along the Thai border Sunday after demands by Thai military forces, Chhouk Ang, commander of RCAF Battalion 911, said Monday.
Thai military authorities met Cambodian authorities Saturday and demanded that they destroy the system that diverted water from a river marking the Thai-Cambodia border in Poipet commune to the casino, Chhouk Ang said.
“Thai soldiers wanted us to destroy the drainage system immediately,” he said on Monday.
“We asked them to let us solve it in a few days, but they demanded again and again that we remove it in one day,” Chhouk Ang said.
The two sides held a meeting Sunday morning and agreed to fill the drainage system with soil, rendering it unusable.
The Golden Crown Casino constructed the system so that workers at the hotel and gambling complex could have access to river water for washing and other needs. Casino workers have used water from wells in the past, but it has not been enough, Chhouk Ang said.
Prak Chandara, an immigration police officer at Poipet International checkpoint, said the dispute was settled peacefully and did not affect visitors from crossing the checkpoint.
Although Thai and Cambodian officials maintain that relations along the border are under control, recent flare-ups have marred recovery from last year’s anti-Thai riots in Phnom Penh.
A similar standoff occurred April 9 and 10 when Cambodian soldiers began constructing a fence on contested land along the border in Banteay Meanchey province.
The confrontation ended peacefully and the fence was destroyed after negotiations between officials from both sides.
Thailand and Cambodia have a long-standing agreement not to build, cut trees or change any part of the land in contested zones between the two countries.