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Two men arrested in border crossing

Two Cambodian villagers were arrested by Lao border officials after illegally crossing into Laos from Stung Treng province in separate incidents this past week, officials said yesterday.

Sun Ban, border police commander at the Cambodian-Lao border in Stung Treng province, said both villagers had crossed by border post 63 in Siem Pang district and had ventured about 1,200 metres into Laos’s Champasak province before they were captured by Lao authorities.

Deng Kham, 49, of Siem Pang district, was arrested on Wednesday, while Nhem Dam, 36, of Kratie province’s Snuol district, was arrested on Sunday, Sun Ban said.

“We are not sure, but we were told that the men went out into the thick forest with their dogs and we suspect that they were illegally hunting wildlife or making deals for buying luxury timber in Laos,” he said.

Sun Ban added that military officials from Cambodia and Laos had recently discussed how to improve bilateral relations between the two countries and had successfully negotiated the release of villagers who have illegally crossed the border in the past.

“I am not sure when we will be able to meet with Lao officials to seek the release of the two men, but we often talk about the exchange of [detainees] because local villagers do not understand the law,” he said.

Siem Pang district governor Shi Suon said yesterday that he had received a report of Deng Kham’s arrest on May 25.



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