Thai soldiers on the Cambodia-Thai border detained 82 Cambodians on Wednesday morning while they were trying to illegally enter Thailand at small border checkpoints in Banteay Meanchey province, and Aranh, in Thailand.
Major General Chhun Mao, the deputy commander of Military Region 5 at Banteay Meanchey told The Post that among the group were 33 women and five children.
They were detained for trying to cross near O’Bei Choan checkpoint in O’Chrov district; Takhleng checkpoint in Svay Chek district; Banteay Rith checkpoint in Thma Puok district and Poipet checkpoint in Poipet district.
“After testing for Covid-19 they were educated and returned across the border,” he said.
Mao said the day before, police prevented 38 Khmer citizens from trying to enter Thailand around Boeung Trakoun and Phnom Chat checkpoints.
They were sent to Transit Centres in O’Chrov and Svay Chek districts to follow the measures of the Ministry of Health, except for one man who was believed to be the leader.
“The man, identified as Khean Phean, 30, lives in Sre Sdok commune, Kandieng district, Pursat. The suspect was sent to the O’Chrov police station,” he said.
For the last few months, Cambodian and Thai border police have cooperated to prevent citizens from trying to find work illegally in Thailand.
It has been considerably successful, officials say, but there are still some citizens who have secretly entered Thailand.
“We are sorry that 16 Cambodians secretly entered Thailand illegally on Monday and they were arrested in Barai commune, in Aranh district. There was one person who sustained a leg injury while trying to escape,” Mao said.
He said the injured man was Phat Thai, 36, from Poipet. After being detained, he was sent to a hospital in Thailand.
All 16 were returned to a Cambodian transit centre to be quarantined for 14 days, except for a Thai who was sent to the Poipet district police station, he said.
On May 13, Minister of Interior Sar Kheng ordered governors of provinces bordering other countries to prevent citizens from crossing borders illegally while those countries were in a state of emergency to prevent the spread of Covid-19.