Sixteen Cambodian market vendors were released and repatriated yesterday, six days after they were initially imprisoned in a Thai jail.
The workers were arrested on Thursday after allegedly being caught smuggling counterfeit clothing over the Poipet border for sale at the nearby Rong Kluea market in Sa Kaeo province.
The workers’ release followed a mass vendor protest over the weekend that shut down the border crossing and resulted in negotiations between worker representatives and government officials from both countries.
During Monday’s court hearing in Thailand, the 16 workers submitted a thumb-printed document claiming the fake goods did not belong to them and that they were responsible only for transporting merchandise, according to consular-general Neth Saray.
Provincial Governor Korsam Saroeut urged the workers upon their return to “respect the law” so that no further customs arrests occur.