Thai authorities arrested three Cambodian loggers who crossed the border in Banteay Meanchey’s Thmor Pouk district to illegally fell wood in Thailand’s Buriram province on Saturday.
Haing Meng, governor of Banteay Ampil district, said yesterday that the border relations office is communicating with their Thai counterparts about the arrests.
“We have ordered the authorities along the border to communicate with the Thai side,” he said. “However, the problem is that they have to enforce their own state laws. Right now, we are negotiating to let their families meet with them. That is the first step.”
“The second step is that the border relation officers are seeking understanding from the Thai side because the Cambodians were wrong to illegally cross the border to cut trees,” he added.
Chhit Chhorn, chief of staff for the provincial police, said that villagers believe they can make large profits from the illegal timber trade.
“The villagers living along the border know about the locations to find timber and believe that they can earn good money from logging,” he said.
Mr Chhorn said even though Thai authorities used to frequently shoot dead illegal loggers, some still dare to cross the border to fell wood.
“Border shootings have gone down in the past two years,” he noted.