Cambodia border police arrested 12 people last week who attempted to cross illegally from Preah Vihear province into Thailand to log rosewood, officials said yesterday.
No Sok Hai, Choam Ksan district governor, said that on March 23, border police arrested the dozen Cambodians as they attempted to cross the border.
Saws and related logging equipment were also confiscated, he said.
“First, they [villagers] aimed for an illegal crossing, and second, to avoid arrest and shooting from Thai soldiers. We helped them avoid being brutally fired upon by the Thais,” he added.
Before the would-be loggers were released on Sunday they were put through an education process and asked to sign a contract promising they would not cross illegally, he said.
According to figures from rights group Adhoc, Thai soldiers fired at Cambodians who illegally crossed in seven cases in the first two months of 2012, resulting in 11 deaths.
Last year, 13 Cambodians died in eight cases of shootings.
To contact the reporter on this story: Tep Nimol at [email protected]