Four Cambodian nationals who had been incarcerated in Thailand for logging and illegally crossing the border were released on Monday after completing their prison terms, officials said yesterday.
Touch Ra, deputy director of the Chaom-Sa Ngaom international border checkpoint in Oddar Meanchey province, said two of them were women – 54-year-old Yu Sambath and 32-year-old Khub Chenda – who were arrested on March 8, 2013, while trespassing on Thai territory with a group of illegal loggers.
“They went to find timber. Some of them dragged and carried the timber back into Cambodia, and some of them cooked for their husband or relatives [who were logging],” Ra said.
“They were charged with collusion in illegal logging and jailed,” he continued.
According to Ra, between five and 10 Cambodians are sent back every month by his Thai counterpart. Ra said he always calls their families to collect them and asks local authorities to educate them about the illegalities of logging Thai wood.
Chhit Chhorn, deputy chief of the Oddar Meanchey provincial police station’s staff office, said that two teenagers were also released on Monday after being arrested on May 31 for crossing illegally into Thailand.
“We do not know clearly about their purpose,” he said. “We just know they crossed the border illegally and were arrested.”