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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Border two-step: Lao loggers head home after swap

Border two-step: Lao loggers head home after swap

Stung Treng provincial authorities last week released 11 Laos arrested last month for allegedly crossing the border to log luxury wood in the Kingdom, the same day 15 Cambodians caught logging in Laos were returned to Cambodia, officials said yesterday.

Siem Pang district police chief Var Sophann said that in accordance with an agreement between districts along the border, Cambodia released the men to their homes in Champa Sak province on Wednesday.

Var Sophann said that Cambodian officials had not fined Laos caught crossing the border, but the families of returned Laos had paid a small amount to district authorities for food and care of the detainees.

The Post reported on Friday that families of the 15 returned Cambodians had paid fines of $450 each.

He added that four confiscated tractors, one wood-cutting machine, one motorbike and four pieces of luxury wood were being kept at the district police office.

“The prosecutor has not [sent the case to the court], because there is an agreement between Cambodia and Laos,” he said.

District governor Sy Suon said that six Cambodians are still being detained in Laos while Cambodian authorities locate their families to pay the fine to Lao officials.

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