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Arrests for timber smuggling

Pav Suy / Khmer Times Share:
Police say the officer arrested is innocent. Supplied

Thai police arrested two Cambodian nationals driving Lexus SUVs Saturday morning as they were returning from a Thai border province.

The National Police reported yesterday that Ye Luch, 30, an official at O Anlork border checkpoint, was arrested alongside Van Long, the driver of the other SUV, after they each crossed into the Thai province to transport timber through the Daung international checkpoint.

The two men returned toward the O Anlork border but where stopped by Thai police, who reported confiscating 20 pieces of kranhoung timber.

Chin Piseth, deputy chief of the Cambodia-Thailand coordination office, said Thai police made a mistake in arresting Mr Luch.

“Thai officers made the wrong arrest, and actually apologised to us. The car Mr Luch was driving had no timber in it, while a similar Lexus driven by Mr Long was actually carrying timber. It is simply a matter of confusion,” he said.

“As the cars were driving one after the other, they were both stopped. But I know Mr Luch personally. He is a border soldier at O Anlork, and on that day he went to Thailand to process goods for his superior to be transported in trucks into Cambodia,” he added.

Mr Piseth said that Mr Luch was freed, while Mr Long remained in police detention.

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