Crossing Cambodia

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Smuggling and traffic safety

Smuggling apparently takes place on a large scale. At least that's what this Cambodia Daily write up reports.

Eight hundred cars have been smuggled over the border at 2 border crossings with Thailand since March this year. The article does not mention how it has been determined that there were 800 vehicles smuggled, a wild guess / underestimation? Anyway, at current levels there are many vehicles with their steering wheels on the wrong side, a potential traffic hazard as the drivers have insufficient overview of the road situation. Has anyone driven in a car with the steering wheel on the wrong side?

Earlier this year as a measure to broaden the road tax base, all right handed steering vehicles were allowed to register and should be paying tax. Obviously this also assists the smuggle: if right hand steering would have been forbidden (due to safety concerns) then this smuggling would not have taken place.

So what that this has been discovered? A couple of fines here and there (as high as the profits of the corrupt custom officials?) and now try to find an alternative strategy for importing cars.
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