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Businesses Pay Millions of Dollars in Bribes to Operate in Cambodia

An independent economic research group says businesses in Cambodia paid about 330 million dollars in bribes to the government last year.

A study by the Economic Institute of Cambodia said today (Thursday) the amount of "unofficial fees", or bribes, is far less than what would be collected under the official tax rate.

The group says only about 25 percent of the potential tax was collected from the private sector last year.

The report is based on a survey of 12 hundred businesses throughout Cambodia. Interviewees also complained about corruption in the country's judicial system.

Cambodia is plagued by corruption at almost every level of government, with even the lowest-level civil servants supplementing their paltry wages with bribes.

International donors have repeatedly criticized the government for its failure to curb corruption.