Cambodian fish vendors block border bridge with fish to protest Thai import tax hike

Cambodian fish vendors staged a protest against Thai import tax hike by throwing their cat fish in the middle of the Friendship Bridge at Klong Loek-Poipet border point and blocked the border crossing traffic, stranding hundreds of cargo-laden trucks bound for Cambodia.

The Cambodian fish vendors complained that the Thai customs had recently increased the import tax for Cambodian fish to between 1,500-2,000 baht for one cartload of fish from 300-500 baht for a cartload of between 100-200 kilogrammes.

They claimed that the import tax hike had made it impossible for them to make decent profits.

As a gesture of protest against the tax hike, the vendors poured cat fish onto the middle of the Friendship Bridge and used their push carts to block traffic on the bridge, making it impossible for vehicles to travel in and out of the borders between the two countries.

The protest prompted Aranyaprathet district chief officer Saovanit Sirakul na Ayudhya and Thai customs officials as well as military personnel to rush to the scene to demand talks with representatives of the fish traders.

However, the Thai side demanded the protesters to remove the road block first, but the vendors declined. The stand-off last until noon when the vendors agreed to lift the road block to allow trucks to cross the border into Cambodia and vice versa.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)