Thai police on Monday repatriated 23 Cambodian men who were tricked into traveling to Thailand to log rosewood, according to an official.
The group was smuggled across the border by traffickers on September 5 for what they thought would be construction work, according to Sin Namyong, a Poipet City official in charge of returning migrant workers at the Poipet International Border Checkpoint.
The men were then ordered to work as rosewood loggers, but became scared that they would be shot and fled into the forest, Ms. Namyong said, adding that they wandered for days before turning themselves in to Thai police on Sunday.
The 23 were held overnight and sent back to Cambodia at about 1:30 p.m. Monday after authorities determined that they had not logged any rosewood, she said.
“They were tricked by rosewood middlemen in Thailand to go cut Thai rosewood, but they did not actually cut down any rosewood and then they let Thai police arrest them.”