CAMBODIAN traders angry at Thai authorities for changing the import duty on fresh fish shut the Thai-Cambodian Friendship Bridge for the second day today (Feb. 24) but allowed tourists to walk across, Thai News Agency said.
Thai authorities changed the fresh fish import duty from a collective rate of 380 baht a large hamper to 12 baht a kilogram and started applying this new rate today after leniently using the old rate for the last day yesterday as this relaxation has been continued for years now.
Cambodian traders blocked the bridge with over 30 carts filled with fresh fish and prevented Thai vehicles from crossing it particularly those carrying Thai products in order to pressure the Thai authorities to revert to the old rate but they did let tourists walk across.
Offcials at Aranyaprathet customs checkpoint in Sa Kaeo province said they could no longer reduce the import duty because this regulation has been relaxed for a very long time and advance notice has been given for an extended period.
Thai officials both in and out of uniform are closely monitoring the situation as they fear a third hand might try to cause problems.
Top and inset: The Thai-Cambodian Friendship Bridge shut by Cambodian fish traders. Photo: Thai News Agency