Thai border police killed two men seen illegally entering Thailand in two separate incidents this month, provincial officials said.
On Friday in Banteay Meanchey’s Thmar Puok district, a 25-year-old man was killed, one injured and two went missing after they were shot as they hauled a stolen car across the Thai-Cambodian border, said Tim Sareth, deputy director of the RCAF Border Communication Office. The man killed was known as Heap, he said.
Thai car thieves often conspire with Cambodian illegal-car dealers to smuggle cars, hiring poor villagers to do the work, Tim Sareth said. The villagers push the cars over the borders because driving them might create noise and get them caught, he said.
“We are very sorry for their death,” Tim Sareth said, adding, “If our people do wrong, please don’t use violence.”
On Nov 3, nine men and two women from an Oddar Meanchey province border village were shot at as they entered Thailand seeking field labor, a lieutenant colonel in the military said.
Pek Tol, 31, was killed instantly, the military official said. The others, who hailed from Thmar Doun village, Kouk Khpas commune, Banteay Ampil district, escaped unharmed.
Thai police refused to allow Oddar Meanchey officials to enter Thailand to investigate the shooting, the official said. Pek Tol’s body was sent to Cambodia two days later after interventions from high-ranking military commanders, he said.
“Thai border police accused the Cambodian farmers of intending to steal cars, but they were innocent and were seeking field labor,” the lieutenant colonel said.
Cambodian farmers from Banteay Meanchey and Oddar Meanchey have been entering Thailand to work in the fields to escape severe drought. They can make about 10,000 riel ($2.50) a day harvesting rice in Thailand, about twice of what they make here, provincial officials said.