Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Homecoming: Thai prisons release 55 loggers

Homecoming: Thai prisons release 55 loggers

Homecoming: Thai prisons release 55 loggers

Thai prisons released 55 Cambodian illegal loggers over the weekend, after the group had spent about two years in prison for their offences.

The 55 were sent back via the Cambodian-Thai border crossing in Oddar Meanchey province’s Anlong Veng district at about 2pm on Saturday, Touch Ra, director of the Choam-Sangam border checkpoint, said yesterday.

“The stories those released had told police were that they were manipulated by a businessman, who asked them to cut down rosewood for a high price,” Ra said. “Then they were chased, arrested and jailed.”

Low wages and ignorance of the consequences of illegally logging in Thailand leaves the door open for many crooked businessmen to take advantage of Cambodians who need the money, said Ya Navuth, the head of the NGO CARAM.

Cambodian culprits are often victims of land disputes, Navuth said yesterday.

“If the Cambodian government could solve these root issues, there would likely be change,” Navuth said. “Cambodian residents would probably remain in Cambodia, and work locally, rather than logging illegally.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Prime Minister: Take back islands from inactive developers

    The government will “take back” land on roughly 30 islands from private companies that have not made progress on planned developments, Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a speech on Monday that also targeted land-grabbing villagers and idle provincial governors. Speaking at the inauguration of the

  • Land on capital’s riverfront is opened up for investment

    The government has signed off on a proposal to designate more than 9 hectares of land along Phnom Penh’s riverfront as state-private land, opening it up for private investment or long-term leasing. The 9.25-hectare stretch of riverfront from the capital’s Night Market to the