Stung Treng provincial police have detained six illegal loggers from Laos who were caught crossing in the province on Friday.
Provincial police chief Major General Mao Dara yesterday said that the six men are awaiting repatriation to Laos under an agreement between the countries on how to deal with nationals from both sides who cross the border for illegal logging.
He said that a memorandum signed between the two countries calls for both sides to accommodate those caught on either side of the border until respective consulates arrange for them to go home.
“The border police arrested them in Siem Pang district and according to the memorandum of understanding, consulate officials based in the province need to come and help send them home after they sign a declaration that they will not repeat the offence,” he said.
“The same rule applies when our people are caught logging illegally in Laos,” he added.
District police chief Chim En said that police are providing the six men with accommodation and food pending the arrival of their consulate representatives.
“They are staying inside our police office while their consulate contacts their families in Laos to come and take them back,” he said. “They are not handcuffed.”
“We give them food and let them walk freely inside our police office,” Mr En noted.
He said the six men entered Cambodia illegally to log on Friday and border officers heard the sound of trees being cut.
Mr En noted that the officers caught the men with hoes, chainsaws and machetes, adding that some others who were with them managed to flee back to Laos.