Interior Minister Sar Kheng yesterday ordered officials to close all illicit corridors along the country’s borders with Thailand and Vietnam to prevent timber smuggling and illegal crossings.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of his ministry’s annual meeting, Mr Kheng said border provinces must this year prioritise security efforts to prevent crimes including drug and human trafficking.
“We have a lot of work to do to improve security along the border and crack down on transnational crime,” he said.
“We must close all illicit corridors because they allow the trade in illegal goods, as well as human trafficking and drug trafficking. It is dangerous if we do not manage it.
“I want to encourage officials at all levels to prioritise this work,” he added.
Mr Kheng said it was his goal to eliminate all drug and human trafficking over the borders this year.
Tbong Khmum provincial governor Ly Leng also ordered his officials to close all illegal corridors along the border.
He said that illegal timber smuggling, trade, land deals and checkpoints must be prohibited in the province, which borders Vietnam.
“Illegal border corridors are strictly forbidden in Tbong Khmum province,” he said.
He also asked local authorities and law enforcement forces to work together to prevent, crack down on and eliminate border crimes.
Earlier this month, Mr Kheng ordered all mobile checkpoints on roads and waterways in the country to be suspended immediately.
Mr Kheng revoked the right of administrations in the capital and at provincial, city and district levels to place checkpoints. Ministries and institutions will also be barred from setting them up.
“The elimination of checkpoints is aimed at implementing government policy to provide services and to improve the public’s standard of living by promoting a daily life free of disturbances,” he said.