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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Illegal loggers, trafficker return

Illegal loggers, trafficker return

Fourteen Cambodian men jailed in Thailand for drug trafficking or illegal logging have been released in the past week after reaching the end of their sentences, a border official said yesterday.

Touch Ra, director of the Chaom Sangam Cambodia-Thailand border checkpoint in Oddar Meanchey province, said that all but one of the men, who began trickling back since October 30, had been serving jail time for illegal logging.

“After they were arrested, they were imprisoned. The Thais rarely educate and release loggers or drug distributors,” he said, adding that the health of the men was good and they had not been tortured.

Ra said one man had served seven years for drug trafficking while those convicted of logging had come to the end of jail terms ranging between three months and one year.

The men hailed from Kampong Thom, Kampong Cham, Preah Vihear, Oddar Meanchey and Battambang provinces and ranged from 20 to 40 years old, he added.

Thailand had released 22 Cambodians jailed for illegal logging in September, Ra said.

Ly Bouy, police chief of Samlot district in Battambang province, said three Cambodians shot dead by soldiers in Thailand on Saturday while attempting to illegally log, had been identified as Su Chorn, 30 and Kim Tamheang, 29, from Banon and Samlot districts, respectively, and Ngin Puthou, 28, from Kampot province.

The men had engaged in a firefight with Thai soldiers and their bodies were repatriated the same day.  

“Those three corpses were already decomposed before arrival in our country, so we couldn’t examine them at all,” he added.

To contact the reporter on this story: seangly.phak@phnompenhpost.com

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