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Thai detainees receive visit from relatives

THE relatives of three Thai men arrested last week for entering Cambodia illegally visited the detainees at Siem Reap provincial prison yesterday, Cambodian officials said.

Provincial prison Director Chheam Savuth said yesterday that the three men – Sanong Wongcharoen, 36, Lim Puangpet, 39, and Lan Sapsri, 53 – had been visited by four relatives from Thailand.

“They asked for permission for a meeting, and we allowed it,” he said.

Oddar Meanchey provincial authorities arrested the trio on Wednesday last week and confiscated homemade guns, lights and batteries. Siem Reap provincial court charged the three with entering Cambodia illegally and the illegal use of weapons.

Heng Hak, director general of the Department of Prisons at the Ministry of Interior, said yesterday that Thai Embassy officials in Phnom Penh had also requested a meeting with the detainees yesterday, which he approved on Wednesday.

The Bangkok Post reported on Wednesday that Prime Minister Hun Sen had ordered the release of the three prisoners yesterday, although both Heng Hak and Chheam Savuth confirmed that the prisoners were still in their cells.

“I heard the media reports, but so far I have not received any instructions at all,” he said. “Until now, there is no principle to release these men.
Thai Embassy officials could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Also yesterday, the Bangkok Post reported that Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva as saying that fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra’s resignation as Cambodia’s economic adviser would pave the way for Thailand and Cambodia to resolve outstanding border conflicts.

“Without Thaksin in the way, the problems should be easier to solve,” Abhisit reportedly said.

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