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Loggers arrested in Thailand

Thirty-four Cambodian loggers were arrested after being snared in a sting conducted by Thai armed forces at Thap Lan National Park on Saturday.

Arwut Ditprasak, 33, a Thai man living in Sakoea province, was the first to be arrested after his truck carrying 14 planks of rosewood was stopped by the Thai police while he was driving out of the park.

A policeman later disguised himself as Ditprasak and drove his truck back into the park to lure out the other loggers, all of whom had previously been instructed to wait and board Ditprasak’s truck, and were later unwittingly driven to the police station.

“The 34 Cambodians are currently being detained at Khorn Borei district police station for interrogation,” said Touch Ra, director of Cambodia-Thailand border relations at the Choam Sangam checkpoint. “The police plan to send them to Buriram Provincial Court on Tuesday morning for further procedures.”

Meanwhile, 13 migrant Cambodians who had previously been arrested for a similar charge have been released and deported back to Cambodia following a six-day detention, a Cambodia-Thailand border official said yesterday.

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