In the first week of July, Cambodia's General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE) cracked down on a contraband operation, seizing 11 unregistered vehicles ferrying nearly 70,000 kilogrammes of illegal goods.

The GDCE, adhering to the 2022 government mandate, has amplified measures to combat tax evasion, fostering an environment of fair business competition and bolstering national revenue.

The department revealed in a July 7 press release: "During the first week of July, our Customs Risk Management and Audit Unit, in collaboration with the special intervention team, intercepted 11 vehicles laden with contraband goods at specific locations. The seizure comprised 69,520kg of goods, estimated to be worth over $90,000”.

A dark turn of events unfolded on the night of July 1 in Traing district, Takeo province. An armed group deployed three cars to block customs police, firing five shots in a daring bid to release a contraband-laden vehicle from police custody.

For the sake of safety and due to darkness, the local police ceased pursuit, resulting in the armed group successfully freeing the vehicle.

A GDCE statement further clarified: "Due to the obstruction and firearm discharge, our officials lodged a complaint with the relevant national authorities in Takeo province. With the diligent focus of National Police Chief Neth Savoeun, the culprits were subsequently apprehended”.

The GDCE urges all traders and merchants to comply with tax obligations lawfully, reiterating its commitment to enhance measures to prevent tax evasion and smuggling.