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BP: Customs and military men lock h
- Subject: BP: Customs and military men lock h
- From: suriya@xxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Sat, 19 Jun 1999 19:32:00
Subject: BP: Customs and military men lock horns
June 19, 1999
Customs and military men lock horns
Quarantine row at Burma border pass
Wassana Nanuam and Supoj Wancharoen
The army and customs officials have traded accusations after the military
a border pass in Kanchanaburi early this week.
Customs officials allege the army was trying to extract money from traders,
the military claims were smuggling diseased cattle from Burma.
Col Somdej Suemak, of the 9th Infantry, said yesterday the army's closure of
the border at Ban Po Ton Yang was necessary.
Traders were smuggling in cattle and failing to observe quarantine
Ban Po Ton Yang was not a trade checkpoint, but a border pass, and the closure
order was within the military's authority, he said.
Three Pagodas Pass was the only trade checkpoint in the province.
Col Somdej denied claims the army closed the border to force cattle importers
to pay a fee for its reopening.
"We don't have any vested interest in the closure.
"We want border trade to follow a proper system.," the colonel said.
Customs officials accused the 9th Infantry of spreading false stories that a
disease had been found in smuggled cattle.
The rumour, which was rejected by local customs officials, prompted a visit by
Customs Department Director-General Somjai Hengtrakul.
Customs officials said between October 1998 and May 1999, only 405 of a total
of 19,719 cattle brought across the border has been smuggled.
They had been tracked down, and none of them was found to have been diseased.
Suvut Chalejorn, the Kanchanaburi livestock chief, said it was not worth the
trouble for traders to attempt to smuggle in diseased cattle.
Infected cattle would be placed in quarantine for at least two months, at
loss to the traders.
"I don't think they would take the chance," Mr Suvut said.
"They earn about 20 million baht from these cattle a month.
"They would lose a lot of money if any of the cattle were found to be
diseased."Mr Somjai said he would ask Deputy Finance Minister Pichart
Panvichetkul to waive taxes on imported cattle to encourage smugglers to
operate within the system.
The Customs Department earned about 10 million baht each year from import
on cattle, but he thought a tax exemption would boost the local economy.
Database 10 yrs
© Copyright The Post Publishing Public Co., Ltd. 1999
Last Modified: Sat, Jun 19, 1999
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