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Thais return jailed loggers

Cambodians who had been detained by Thailand gather in front of the Chaom Sangman border checkpoint in Oddar Meanchey province
Cambodians who had been detained by Thailand gather in front of the Chaom Sangman border checkpoint in Oddar Meanchey province yesterday after being released. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Thais return jailed loggers

Dozens of Cambodian prisoners were released by Thai authorities yesterday after serving 20-month prison sentences in Thailand for crossing the border illegally to log rosewood.

The group of 37, all arrested within Thai territory on March 12 last year, were released through the Chaom Sangman checkpoint in Oddar Meanchey district, the checkpoint’s director, Touch Ra, said yesterday.

The men had been in prison in the border province of Si Sa Ket, he said.

“They had crossed the border to search for rosewood last year when they were arrested and imprisoned,” Ra said, adding that more than 90 Cambodians arrested for logging over the border had been released by Thai police this year.

Separately, DAP has reported that a former Thai “black-clad” soldier identified as Sophatwongsa Prakna, 39, who was arrested in 2009 on spying charges, was granted a Royal pardon and released back to Thailand.

Chan Kosal, Banteay Mean­chey deputy police chief, confirmed to the Post that a convicted spy was sent back to Thailand on Tuesday, but could not confirm his identity.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CHEANG SOKHA

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