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Migrants make way back from Thailand

Thirteen Cambodian workers were bailed out of Thai prisons and allowed to return home on Tuesday after spending nearly two months in jail for entering the neighbouring kingdom illegally, family members said yesterday.

On Monday, the families of six of the 13 workers appealed to Cambodian authorities for help after being informed that the release of their relatives would cost 8,000 baht (about $227) each, but yesterday said they had borrowed money to secure the workers’ release.

Ny Ngem, the mother of detained migrant Kim Tem, said that her son and the other 12 Cambodians were returned via Poipet on Tuesday.

“I borrowed someone’s money for them to release my son after the Thai side demanded it, because I didn’t want him to be in jail anymore,” she said.

An Vannak, the chief of immigration police in Poipet, confirmed yesterday that the 13 had made it safely back after having crossed into Thailand illegally with the help of a broker.

In a separate release on Tuesday, Thai prisons discharged four Cambodian loggers, two of whom had been jailed for more than a year, officials said.

Touch Ra, an official with the Cambodian-Thai Border Relations Office in Oddar Meanchey province, said that his officials had received the four men on Tuesday afternoon.

He said that among the four, two had been imprisoned for more than a year, while two others, aged 15 and 16, had only been jailed for a month and a half.

The four hail from Oddar Meanchey, Kampong Speu and Kampot provinces.

“We have now sent them home,” Ra said.

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