Thai soldiers fired at six Cambodian migrant workers, wounding one of them, while they were attempting to cross the border into Thailand in search of luxury timber kranhuong, also known by its botanical name Dalbergia cochinchinensis.
Suon Sambo, head of the Cambodia-Thailand liaison bureau in Region 5, said that on the morning of May 24, his working group received a report from brigade unit 537 on the border in Pursat province’s Veal Veng district that Thai soldiers had arrested a Cambodian after he was wounded trying to smuggle kranhuong trees into Cambodia.
“The working group and forces from brigade unit 537 contacted the Thai side to request that the Cambodian be handed over to Cambodian authorities. The Thai side complied with our request after a more than three-hour discussion,” he said
The man was identified as Nat, a 31-year-old resident of Kok Doung commune’s Kok Doung village in Siem Reap province’s Angkor Chum district. He is being treated at the Veal Veng district referral hospital under the supervision of Thma Da commune police.
Lun Leang, commander of border police unit 825, told The Post that Thai border soldiers found the group of Cambodians carrying timber in flooded forests in Thailand, around 800m from the border.
“The group tried to escape. Nat, carrying 10 pieces of timber on his shoulder, was surrounded by the Thai soldiers. He threw an axe at a Thai officer who was chasing him while trying to run to the border, so Thai soldiers shot him, wounding his right leg,” he said
During questioning, Nat admitted that he entered Thailand through a broker named Such, a 45-year-old man residing in Veal Veng district. Upon seeing Thai soldiers, the broker fled while the others also disappeared.