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Meeting on Thai border has crime focus

Senior officials from Cambodia’s Defence Ministry will leave for Thailand today for the 11th General Border Committee, which aims to strengthen cooperation between the two countries, particularly on cross-border crime.

The delegation will be led by four-star General Neang Path, secretary of state for the Ministry of Defence, and will spend three days meeting with their opposite numbers from the Thai Defence Ministry.

Cambodian Defence Ministry spokesman Chhum Socheat said the delegations will discuss, among other things, drug smuggling, human trafficking, illegal logging and the smuggling of artefacts.

The UN Office for Drugs and Crime estimates transnational crime generates at least $100 billion a year in Southeast Asia. “Recent data indicate increased trafficking and smuggling across borders across the Mekong region,” UNODC representative Jeremy Douglas said in an email.

Not on the agenda, said Socheat, is the International Court of Justice’s July 18 order that Cambodian and Thai troops withdraw from the demilitarised zone surrounding the Preah Vihear border temple.

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