to a safe distance and waiting for the detonator to explode.(9)

Once the metal reaches the town scrap yard by motorcycle, bicycle or oxcart, it remains there until a regional wholesaler makes the rounds with a transport truck.  Regional purchasers carry the metal to Poipet, where it is sold for a slight profit to the Poipet scrap yards.(10)  Each of the Poipet scrap yards then sorts through the material.

At this point, one of three things happens to the ordnance that has made it to Poipet without being disassembled:

  1. It is stored until Halo Trust (humanitarian demining agency) sends an EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) team to spot check the scrap yards.  Live ordnance is taken and disposed of safely by the EOD team.  Safe war debris remains the property of the yard.
  2. It is stored until CMAC (Cambodian Mine Action Center) sends an EOD team upon request to dispose of live ordnance.
  3. The scrap yards take it upon themselves to disassemble the ordnance themselves.(11)
Once the scrap metal has been sorted according to grade in the Poipet yards, it is sold directly to Thai steel factories that
transport the metal into Thailand. Each truckload of scrap sold to Thai merchants yields between $100-250.00 profit for the Poipet yard. In Thailand, the metal is reportedly smelted and recast, often as steel construction beams.(12)

A preliminary foray to the Chonburi industrial region of Thailand in December 2004 resulted in a number of insights regarding the Thai steel industry's perspective on scrap metal purchased from Cambodian scrap metal yards. In short, executives denied any knowledge of metal derived from explosive remnants of war (ERW) being bought by, or used in their factories.(13) This stance was adopted despite

(9) Fieldwork Observations, Kompong Thom Province, October 2004.

(10) Interview with Long Nam, scrap wholesaler, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, January, 2005.
(11) Fieldwork Observations, November/December 2004, Poipet, Cambodia. The use of cutting torches and hammers as tools for disassembly of live ordnance is a common practice. Some scrap yards in Poipet employ ordnance "specialists" who work as freelance ordnance cutters. They are paid by the kilo for all ordnance disassembled and made safe for shipment to Thailand.
(12) Field Interview with Mr. Bay, Thai truck driver, Poipet, Cambodia, November 2004.
(13) Interview with Mr. Wissout, executive NTS steelworks, Chonburi, Thailand, December, 2004.