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Thais arrest Cambodian for ‘spying’ in Sa Kaeo

THAI military officials allegedly arrested and beat up a Cambodian migrant worker who they suspected was spying on a military installation in Thailand’s Sa Kaeo province, government officials said yesterday.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said consular officials had identified the man as Yean Vuth, 46, who was arrested on Saturday in Sa Kaeo, just 8 kilometres from the Poipet border crossing.

He said Thai military officials arrested Yean Vuth while he was walking near a military base, as they suspected he was spying on the facility. “The Thai military did not completely accuse him of being a spy, but they were wondering why he went close to their base,” Koy Kuong said.

He said a Thai investigation was under way, and that consular officials in Sa Kaeo expected that Yean Vuth would be released either late last night or today.

Ly Then, chief of the Thai-Cambodian Border Relations office in Poipet, said that Yean Vuth was beaten by Thai officials after his arrest, and confirmed that the man had yet to be released.

“We have already informed consular officials in Sa Kaeo province and asked for intervention,” he said.

Thai foreign ministry spokesman Thani Thongpakdi said yesterday that he “hasn’t heard anything” regarding the arrest.

Yean Vuth’s arrest follows the detainment of Cambodian villagers Suon Veasna, 32, and Lay Dav, 20, on suspicion of drug trafficking in separate incidents in July. Touch Ra, deputy chief of the Thai-Cambodian Border Relations office, said both had been released on bail, but that it was not known what charges they would face.

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