A senior Cambodian military officer has claimed there are no longer any weapons being smuggled from Cambodia to Thailand, denying Cambodian involvement with the cross-border weapons trade.
Defence Ministry spokesman General Chhum Socheat made the comments after Thai media said authorities had arrested five people believed to be involved with cross-border weapons smuggling.
The smugglers allegedly said they bought the weapons from Cambodia.
Gen Socheat said: “We checked our weapons stockpile through Koh Kong province to other provinces along the border and found out that there were no weapons missing.”
According to Thai media, officers seized three mortars and three 82mm mortar shells from a Bangkok-based public minivan in Sakaeo province’s Aranyaprathet district early on Tuesday.
Last month, Thai military officers arrested a Cambodian man and a Thai air force officer after discovering a large number of weapons in a pickup truck in Thailand’s Trat province.
The pair were arrested after a pickup with Thai army plates came off the road in Trat’s Muang district.
Officers found 29 assault rifles, four machine guns, 53 grenades to be used with launchers and more than 4,000 bullets in the pickup, which was driven by the air force officer.