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‘Illegal loggers’ snared on Thai side of border

Cambodian nationals are supervised by Thai authorities this week after they were detained for smuggling wood into Thailand. Photo supplied
Cambodian nationals are supervised by Thai authorities this week after they were detained for smuggling wood into Thailand. Photo supplied

‘Illegal loggers’ snared on Thai side of border

Twenty-six Cambodians were arrested by Thai authorities for allegedly illegally logging rosewood in Pang Sida National Park in Thailand’s Sa Kaeo province on Sunday.

According to Khuon Choeun, commander of Border Military Unit 503, based in Banteay Meanchey province, the Cambodians were loading pieces of rosewood they had logged from the Thai national park onto their trucks and preparing to return to home when a raid was performed by Thai military police and guards from the park.

“The Cambodian workers denied they were loggers,” Choeun said.

“[They said] they were just loaders and haulers [working under] a Thai boss . . . who is a timber trader at the Cambodia-Thailand border,” he said, adding that the workers were paid 500 baht ($14.50) per day.

Eighty pieces of rosewood, two trucks and two chainsaws were seized during the raid.

Separately, 52 Cambodian fishermen who had been arrested for fishing illegally in Thai territory on Sunday by Thai coastguard officials in Koh Kroun, west of Trat province, were repatriated the following day. Their 11 fishing boats were also returned to them.

“However, before the release, Thai authorities seized 30 huge freezers, including two of mine, and 90 rolls of fishing nets, including four of mine,” said 36-year-old Seng Chanthorn, one of the fishermen.

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