My name is Hery, who has been coming to Korea for 12 years
. Thank you for the opportunity to write to the Korean Migrant Human Rights Center 🙂
Immigration Issues at Cambodia Airport
I am from Cambodia. I have occasional visits to my hometown, and there are things that bother me every time. This also happened on a recent visit to my hometown. At Cambodia airport, employees sometimes ask for back money. It is very upsetting to ask for money not only from Koreans, but also from Asians, especially from China and Singapore, and also from Cambodians.
I have been visiting Cambodia since 2004, and at first I was not familiar with it, so I lined up at the exit for foreigners. At that time, I asked for $20. After that, I get a visa for Koreans in Cambodia and wait in line to ask for $10. I visited Cambodia again 15 months after my son was born, and he said that he had to pay $10. When I said I didn’t have money, I got angry and said, “Why don’t you have money when you live abroad?” The procedure was delayed because I had this kind of mess, but when a relative outside asked the airport staff why I wasn’t coming, he said rudely, “I’m in the idiots.”
I later found out through the Internet that it was unfair to pay at the airport like this. My visa has the words <GRATIS>, which means ‘free’. When I asked my friends, they said they were too lazy to mess around, so they just gave me money. Even when filling out the inspection paper is cumbersome, there are even rumors that if you put about $5 or $10 in your passport, they will pass it through without checking what’s inside. A younger brother I know suddenly said, ‘Today is a day to pay a fine, so please give me money.’ Giving over money like this often happens not only at the airport, but also in everyday life.
These things make me think that the country’s money is not properly paid to the public officials who do the country’s work, so their livelihood expenses are being covered in this way. You collect taxes, but your taxes aren’t being properly enforced. Cambodia does not yet have a proper procedure to report these things. I hope that a fair and stable system will be established in Cambodia as soon as possible. If there is a receipt system that proves that money was sent and received accurately, this would be less likely, but it is very unfortunate.