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Reporters briefly held for filming at crossing

Two SEATV reporters were allegedly detained for several hours on Saturday by border police officials in Banteay Meanchey after capturing photos and footage of the flow of illegal workers and smuggled goods at the Cambodia-Thailand border checkpoint in Poipet town’s Kbal Koh village.

According to reporter Nim Vanna, he and colleague Thim Tha were taking mobile photos and videos of the flow of illegal workers and goods from Thailand when they were arrested by a land border police official from Unit 891 named “Sam” under allegations of trespassing on private land.

The two reporters were released after two hours of detention following negotiations with Kbal Koh police official Ouk Dem.

“Why do I need to ask for permission when the checkpoint is being used illegally to smuggle goods through boats and rafts and serves as the route for illegal migrant workers moving into Thailand?” said Vanna, adding that the videos were later deleted by the officer from his phone.

Chhin Chheang, the deputy commander of the border police of Unit 891, however, denied the accusation.

Chheang said that none of his officers go by the name of Sam and that the location where the reporters captured the photos and videos was a farm that belonged to a local villager.

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