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Thai officials blunder in border arrest

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Thai soldiers have accused seven Cambodians, including a border guard, above centre, of crossing into Thailand to illegally log rosewood. Photo supplied

Thai officials blunder in border arrest

Military officers in the Phnom Dangrek area on the Cambodian-Thai border said Thai soldiers on Saturday arrested seven Cambodians, including a border guard, inside the Kingdom’s territory.

They were accused of crossing the border to log rosewood illegally in Thailand.

However, the commander of Company 1 in the Phnom Dangrek area, Ros Saruom, said the Thai soldiers were between 200 and 300 metres inside Cambodian territory when they patrolled the border.

One of those arrested was a military officer from Company 2.

The seven were released immediately when border liaison officers of both countries intervened after basing their negotiations on a geographical map using the GPS.

“Ten Thai soldiers patrolled the border and they were between 200 and 300 metres inside Cambodian territory. After checking GPS, both sides found the area is located in Cambodia and agreed to release the people and a military officer,” he said.

International Choam Border Checkpoint communication office head Touch Ra said the Thai authorities claimed the arrest was made after they saw one of the seven riding a motorbike in the forest along the borderline.

He was stopped for questioning on suspicion that he crossed the border in search of rosewood in Thailand.

“The seven have been released and Thai authorities have apologised for the arrest,” Ra said.

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