The Nation



LPG sales row blocks border bridge

A Thai-Cambodian border bridge in Sa Kaew province was briefly closed yesterday by angry Cambodian motorists queuing up to fill their vehicles with liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

Officials claim the motorists had illegally modified tanks installed in their vehicles and were denied service by joint border authorities because they wanted to resell the fuel on the Cambodian black market at threefold prices.

The blockade ended after Cambodian officials apprehended the vehicles and attempted to make arrests of protesting motorists, who parked four vehicles on the bridge and had a group of 30 supporters.

Cambodian authorities said there were some 100 vehicles with illegally modified tanks waiting to be filled up and taking part in their protest.

LPG service stations on the Thai side have issued a policy against filling Cambodian registered vehicles that are installed with illegally modified tanks, or those installed with more than one tank.

A Thai immigration policeman said owners of such vehicles had resold LPG on the black market at a price three times higher than what they paid at Thailand-based stations.

The officer said Cambodian-registered vehicles used for more than seven years without inspection certificates were automatically banned from entering Thailand under motor vehicle regulations. Even more likely to be prohibited were those with illegally modified tanks.

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