Government officials have denied Thai media reports quoting Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva as saying that an alleged Cambodian spy escaped from a prison in Thailand yesterday morning.
“I’ve received a report that a spy for Cambodia who was trying to gather information in Thailand has escaped,” the Bangkok Post quoted Abhisit as saying.
“This proves that Thailand is not fabricating the spy case and we’ll have to examine the evidence further,” he reportedly added, referring to a group of three men arrested last week in Thailand’s Sisaket province, a trio that included Cambodian national Ung Kimthai.
Thai state news agency MCOT claimed Abhisit had identified Ung Kimthai as the fugitive.
However, Veerachon Sukondhadhpatipak, deputy spokesman of the Royal Thai Army, said he had received no reports of an escape yesterday.
“From our sources in the army, we don’t have the information about one of the arrested [suspects escaping],” Veerachon said. “This morning, the people who managed the situation, none of them reported there had been [an] escape.”
Koy Kuong, spokesman for the Cambodian Foreign Ministry, said yesterday that the news reports were inaccurate, as Cambodian consular officials had met with Ung Kimthai and the other two suspects yesterday.
“If Mr Abhisit referred to Ung Kimthai [as escaping], it is not true,” Koy Kuong said.
Phnom Penh has called the allegation of espionage against Ung Kimthai a “fabrication”.