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Police ties alleged in timber bust

Police ties alleged in timber bust

A group of Cambodians allegedly conspiring with police officials in Poipet to smuggle luxury timber across the border were arrested in Thailand on Monday, law enforcement and government officials said yesterday. 

Sao Vesna, team leader of the Cambodia-Thai border relations office in Poipet, said Thai soldiers arrested six people after they discovered two Toyota Vigos packed with 20 pieces of timber about 15 kilometres inside Aranh district.

“One arrestee, known as Chivaon, 26, was a former Poipet town policeman,” he said.

Vesna said it was not the first time the group had smuggled wood from Thailand, but in the past police had not had enough evidence to arrest them, adding he had not been informed of the specific type of wood involved.

Ouk Keorattanak, spokesman for Banteay Meanchey provincial hall, alleged a few border checkpoint police had been conspiring with the group.

“A few policemen are involved... and they might be questioned when the six arrested are on trial in Thailand,” he said.

In a separate case, another Cambodian accused of logging in Thailand, 26-year-old Moeun Chenda, was shot on Tuesday last week by Thai soldiers, Chhit Chhorn, deputy chief of staff at Oddar Meanchey provincial police, said yesterday.  

“He was seriously injured and sent to hospital, but died two days later. His corpse was sent to Cambodia on Friday,” he said, adding that Thai forces had killed 38 Cambodians this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Phak Seangly at [email protected]


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