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Rice trader arrested with $44,000 cash

Pav Suy / Khmer Times Share:
The suspect allegedly failed to declare the money to Vietnamese authorities. Supplied

A Cambodian rice trader has been detained in Vietnam after attempting to cross the border back into the country with $44,000 that he failed to declare from sales.

The rice trader, identified as Hou Nat, was arrested on Sunday in Ha Tien town, according to Mao Chanmathurith, police chief of Kampot province.

“It is not a money smuggling case. He sold rice to Vietnamese citizens and then he went there to collect the money for the rice,” said Mr Chanmathurith.

“He was supposed to declare the amount of money to the Vietnamese authorities, but he failed to do so.” According to Vietnam’s Toui Tre News, Mr Nat was arrested by officials from Kien Giang province’s Ha Tien town while attempting to cross the border with the cash.

The report said Mr Nat was arrested for transporting currency and products across the border without declaring them to competent agencies, which is against Vietnamese law. Mr Nat said in the report that he had earned the money by selling his products over the past year.

If found guilty, he faces fines from about $900 to $8,000, or possible jail time of up to two years. However, Mr Chanmathurith said he believed that long-term cooperation between the two countries would likely lead to an agreement being reached for Mr Nat to be released once he pays any levies he owes.

“I wrote a letter and sent it to Vietnam to work with Kien Giang provincial police to bring back our Cambodian citizen because we have a good and close relationship with one another,” he said.

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