Group of Fifteen Illegal Loggers Arrested in Thailand

A group of 15 Cambodians was arrested in Thailand on Tuesday for illegal logging in the country’s Sa Kaeo province, a Cambodian official said on Wednesday.

Bun Sokvibol, a Cambodian consular official in Sa Kaeo, which borders Banteay Meanchey province, said the 15 men had all gone to Thailand as migrant laborers and were arrested along with several Thai nationals at work in a forest about 100 km from the border.

“The 15 migrant workers were arrested yesterday,” he said. “They were cutting rosewood in the forest.”

Mr. Sokvibol said Cambodia was still trying to find out where the men were being detained in order to send officials to meet with them.

Hundreds of Cambodians sneak into Thailand every year to log rosewood, which can sell for thousands of dollars per cubic meter.

Dozens of them get shot—sometimes fatally—by Thailand’s border security forces in the process.

Thailand says its security forces open fire only in self-defense, while Cambodia has been urging its neighbor to stop shooting at the loggers and arrest them instead.

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