Police protecting Cambodia’s border with Thailand said that they stopped a Thai farmer who was ploughing land at border post 43 located in O’Beichoan commune’s Prey Chan village in Banteay Meanchey province’s O’Chrou district.
Region 5 deputy chief of border police 911 Sim Thy told The Post on May 17 that his forces, in cooperation with military battalion 503, were patrolling the location when they saw a Thai national ploughing the area between border poles Number 43 and 44 on May 14.
“Our patrol stopped the farmer, and he said he had been farming in that area for many years already. Then I reported the case to my superiors,” he said.
Thy added that the farmer had ploughed 2ha of 226ha of land in a disputed zone which border committees from the two nations had not resolved. His forces did not detain the farmer nor confiscated his tractor.
Keng Lim, patrol team chief of border protection battalion 503 who is stationed in the area, said every year Thai farmers plant corn and beans in the disputed area claiming they have been farming there since the 1990s.
He said Cambodian farmers had protested against the Thais and requested authorities to prevent them from farming on the disputed land until the border committees resolve the issue.
“We estimate that about 30 per cent of the 226ha of disputed land has been ploughed. We will continue to keep an eye on activities there. We will enforce Cambodian law if they continue to plough in the forbidden area,” he said.
Sea Sao Dy, an official at border protection battalion 911 based in Poipet town, said his forces also had incidents of farming on the disputed land.
“We saw that banana, mango, bamboo and acacia were planted along the border or in Cambodia. We suspect the crops are planted by Thai farmers. We continue to monitor the location and will take legal action,” he said.