Thai authorities have agreed to release four Cambodian men arrested for illegal logging sometime this week, a border official said yesterday.
In what is the latest in a litany of illegal logging cases at the Thai border, four Cambodian men were arrested on Friday afternoon after being found in possession of chainsaws and rosewood by Thai police officers guarding the border.
“Thailand has agreed to free and deport them back to Cambodia this week after interrogating and educating them,” said Tiv Vesna, an official with the Cambodia-Thailand police communication unit, following a meeting with the Thai authorities on Saturday morning.
Currently detained in Thailand, the Cambodians had traversed the border into Thailand’s Trat province to illegally log rosewood.
The arrested Cambodians are Thouk Li O, 16, Uon Bros, 25, Uon Vin, 23, and Lam Den, 22. All four live in Battambang province.
Chhem Yun, police chief in Battambang’s Ta Tork commune, said that one Cambodian – who claimed to have been looking for natural herbs in the forest – had escaped arrest and returned home on Saturday evening.