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Three freed after arrests in Thailand

Three freed after arrests in Thailand

Three Cambodian men were released and repatriated on Tuesday after Thai authorities arrested them for allegedly crossing the border in an attempt to log rosewood in Thai territory, a border official said.

The men, all from Anlong Veng commune in Oddar Meanchey province’s Anlong Veng district, were identified as Kray Chenda, 19; Heb Hel, 23; and Lom Toch, 18.

They were accused of crossing the Thai border near the Chhoam Sror Ngam International Border Checkpoint on Monday night, said Touch Ra, the director of Cambodian-Thai Border Relations at the checkpoint.

Ra said the men were spotted by Thai officials before they had a chance to fell any trees. They were sent back to Cambodia on Tuesday morning.

In lieu of charges, Thai officials “educated” the men, took down their names and warned them not to cross into Thailand again, Ra said.

Srey Naren, the provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, was unaware of the case but said he noticed villagers still took risks to cross the border to log illegally in Thailand.

And while these men were locals, he said timber brokers have been of late hiring outsiders.

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