Monday, January 7, 2008

More petrol smuggled into Cambodia

00:33' 07/01/2008 (GMT+7)

VietNamNet Bridge - Petroleum smuggling to Cambodia from southern Viet Nam's Mekong River Delta has been dramatically increasing recently due to the latest rise in world petroleum prices.

It is reported that petroleum has been hidden in 20-30 liter plastic cans and then transported by small boats, carrier tricycles or motorbikes across the border. Some smugglers have even carried cans of petroleum on their backs.

At the Tinh Bien border, it is estimated that between 1,000 and 2,000 cans of petroleum are illegally transported from Viet Nam to Cambodia daily while reports from the Tinh Bien Border Anti- Smuggling Forces pointed out that less than 1,500 liters of smuggled petroleum were seized in 2007.

In An Phu District of An Giang Province, plastic cans of petroleum have been transported through the border by carrier tricycles and motorbikes to Binh Di riverside where they were unloaded and then transported on small boats into Cambodia.

At present, a liter of petroleum in Viet Nam is VND4, 000 - 5,000 lower than in Cambodia.

In related news, in response to rumors that petrol prices will soar to VND17,000 a liter within the next few days, Deputy Minister of the Industry and Trade, Nguyen Cam Tu asserted that despite a sharp increase in the world petroleum price in early this year, no local petroleum corporation has recently proposed to hike their petrol price at the pumps.

Mr. Tu added that world petroleum prices climbed to US$100 a barrel on January 3 and stated that this shift was just a temporary fluctuation. He suggested that due to this, petroleum corporations cannot propose a rise in pump prices.

According to market specialists, the rumor may originate from a new proposal which has been recently submitted to the government for consideration. Accordingly, the Government will no longer set the ceiling price to curb prices but will let petroleum corporations set their own rates for the whole year.

If the proposal is approved, the pump petrol price in the country will probably rise VND17.000 per liter soon.

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