Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Thai border bust almost snared 70

Thai border bust almost snared 70

Thai border bust almost snared 70

A Thai military offic-ial said yesterday 38 Cambodians arrested in Thailand on Monday were among a group of about 70 allegedly attempting to smuggle luxury rosewood out of Sisaket province.

A source close to Thai defence spokesman Col Thanatip Sawangsaeng, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the alleged loggers had been caught with 109 pieces of timber, as well as tools such as saws and axes.

“On the 11th of March, about 70 Kampucheans crossed over to Sisaket area, and on the 12th of March, they were spotted by Thai villagers trying to smuggle wood that was logged from the area, so the villagers alerted the officials,” the source said.

“Soldiers, accompanied by policemen, went into the area to arrest the intruders, and as a result 38 Kampucheans were arrested,” he said, adding that he did not know what had happened to those who evaded  the authorities.

Those arrested were reportedly caught logging rosewood in Sisaket province’s Phanom Dong Ra National Park.

Touch Ra, chief of border relations at the Chhom Sror Ngam border checkpoint in Oddar Meanchey province, said the group had crossed into Thailand from the Dangrek mountain range in Preah Vihear’s Cham Ksan district.

Keo Tan, a police chief in Oddar Meanchey’s Trapaing Prasat district, said another 20 Cambodian loggers attempting to cross into Thailand through the same mountains had been intercepted yesterday.

“They were sent to provincial  police for education. They will be released [after]. We do not want to see Cambodians illegal crossing it Thailand,” he said.

Police seized 14 carts, ropes, one large chainsaw, a homemade tractor and other tools for illegal logging from the group, most of whom hailed from Siem Reap province.

Foreign affairs spokesman Koy Kuong said Prime Minster Hun Sen and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong had repeatedly urged Cambodians to look for jobs at home rather than illegally cross the border into Thailand.

“We’ve tried to make appeals again and again, and the local authorities try to stop them and educate them. But the border is nearly 800 kilomet-res long, so we cannot totally stop them. But we try our best, step by step,” Koy Kuong said.

The Cambodian consul-general in Thailand’s Sakeo province had travelled to Sisaket and would find legal representation for anyone who had been arrested, he added.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Thy Sovantha threatens new suit

    Social media celebrity and card-carrying CPP member Thy Sovantha yesterday said she will file a lawsuit against wildlife NGO head Suwanna Gauntlett alleging discrimination after the latter allegedly denied her access to an ecotourism program the group is launching today in Koh Kong province. The

  • Police raid Siem Reap party, arrest 10 foreigners over ‘pornographic’ images

    A group of 10 foreign tourists appeared in court today after being arrested for producing “pornographic” photos in Siem Reap town on Thursday, while dozens more were detained temporarily and let go after being lectured on their behaviour, according to authorities. A report posted to the

  • Hun Sen’s in-law removed from RCAF after cockfighting rings raided

    Thai Phany, the nephew-in-law of Prime Minister Hun Sen who is accused of running two large cockfighting rings, has been removed as a general in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces. Phany, formerly a one-star brigadier general, was removed by royal decree on December 19, according to

  • Government approves plan to relocate Phnom Penh’s airport

    The government has signed off on a proposal to build a new airport to serve Phnom Penh and has earmarked land in Kandal province for the $1.5 billion project. A new international airport to replace the existing Phnom Penh International Airport will be constructed on partially