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Thailand: Who has 35,000 trucks for smuggling?

Staff writer |
Thailand's Deputy Commerce Minister Nattawut Saikua denied allegations that Cambodian rice was traded under the government's nationwide rice program.

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Mr. Nattawut categorically denied the allegations that as much as 700,000 tons of Cambodian rice have been smuggled in Thailand and traded under the rice program carried out by the government.

According to Mr. Nattawut, the 700,000 tons of rice supposedly smuggled from Cambodia would need some 35,000 heavy-duty trucks to transport to Thailand.

"It would be impossible for this huge quantity of rice not to be detected by ordinary citizens," said Mr. Nattawut, adding that government critics are just misleading the public.

Mr. Nattawut authorities, from the Public Warehouse Organization and authorized rice surveyors to the police, Customs officials and provincial government personnel, would already have stopped the alleged cross-border smuggling of rice and arrested the smugglers had such illegal shipment occurred indeed, said Mr. Nattawut.

"All the rice which will be traded under the Thai rice program needs to be officially documented as to the definite quantity of the crop for sale, the size of the rice-producing farm, and the farmer's registration. It's not that easy for anyone to smuggle hundreds of thousands of tons of rice from the neighboring country, using thousands of 10-wheel trucks to load and unload and to be sold anywhere in the country," said Mr. Nattawut.

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