Three loggers thought to have been killed by Thai forces, police say

Three loggers thought to have been killed by Thai forces, police say

Three Cambodians were fatally shot by Thai border security forces last week while illegally logging rosewood in the neighbouring country, officials have said.

The reports of deaths come amid tensions between the two countries over the alleged killing of dozens of Cambodian loggers in recent years.

Ho Sokun, director of the Department of Border Affairs, confirmed the reports of the deaths yesterday, adding that the agency was planning to make a formal request to the Thais to return the bodies.

“The border relations committee is going to ask the Thai side to return the remains,” he said.

A post on the website of the National Police on Tuesday said that at least four illegal loggers were shot at by Thai border rangers on February 5 after they had crossed into Thailand two days earlier to log rosewood, according to one of the loggers, who was seriously injured but managed to make his way back to Cambodia.

Chhin Sna, head of the joint Cambodia-Thailand border working group, said the men had crossed the border illegally near the Anses checkpoint. The shooting took place in Thailand’s Sisaket province, he added.

“I am stationed at Anses all the time, but I did not know this had happened, because it was on the other side of the border. By now, the bodies might be rotting, but the families will probably request they be sent back,” he said.

The dead were identified as Keut Yet, 34, Koeu Rina, 34, and Tha, 32. The reports of their deaths could not be independently confirmed.

The known survivor, 33-year-old Ko Bear, survived and is being treated at an unnamed hospital in Siem Reap, police said.

A spokesman for Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not respond to a request for comment as of press time.

Koy Kuong, spokesman at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the government was in contact with the Cambodian consulate in Bangkok to try to establish the facts of the case.

“We have to find out exactly what happened, because what the loggers say is sometimes not the whole truth. Previously, [Thai security forces] have said they shot in self-defence, which suggests the victims could have had weapons,” he said.

According to official figures, which Thailand disputes, as many as 47 loggers were shot dead in Thailand in 2013, down to 11 last year.



  • Government denies claims former Thai PM Yingluck issued Cambodian passport

    Government officials on Thursday denied claims that a Cambodian passport was issued to former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who reportedly used it to register a company in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong-based English language South China Morning Post (SCMP) on Wednesday reported Hong Kong

  • US’ Cambodian ambassador appointment blocked

    The US Senate returned the nomination of Patrick Murphy as Ambassador to Cambodia back to US President Donald Trump on Thursday, as the American government shutdown entered its third week. The US Senate website announcement said it returned Murphy’s nomination as ambassador as his

  • ‘Indian’ tuk-tuk drivers take flak

    The drivers of “Indian” metered tuk-tuks are facing widespread criticism for failing to respect traffic laws and causing traffic jams and accidents. Nay Sitha, a resident of Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district, spoke to The Post about the difficulties he faces, especially when travelling to

  • Diplomatic passports issued to foreigners to be annulled

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will move to annul diplomatic passports issued to those not born in Cambodia. Analysts say the move may be in relation to reports that former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra used a Cambodian passport to register as