Thai Woman Killed at Battambang Border

Two Thai checkpoints on the  border in Bat­tam­bang province have been closed since Sunday, after a Thai businesswoman was robbed and killed inside Cam­bodia, police said Tuesday.

Thai authorities have said the checkpoints in Phnom Proek and Kamrieng districts will remain closed until suspects are apprehended, provincial police said.

Thai national Narong Rath Chan­sen, 25, was shot in the back and died 200 meters from the border on Saturday night, Phnom Proek district Deputy police Chief Sa­reth Viseth said. He said po­lice believe three robbers killed the woman and took about $6,225 from her before fleeing.                                    “Thai authorities claimed they will close the…checkpoints until Cambodian authorities ar­­rest the suspects,” Sareth Vi­seth said.

The Thai Embassy’s second secretary Songchaim Chaipatiyut said Tuesday he could not comment on the border closing, be­cause “normally this kind of decision is made at the local level.” The Cambodian government had not yet brought the issue to the em­­bassy’s attention, he ad­ded.

According to interviews broadcast by Radio Free Asia, villagers selling food and clothing near the border checkpoints are worried they will lose Thai customers.

But Battambang provincial Gov­ernor Prach Chan said Tues­day their businesses will not be af­fected because two other pro­vincial checkpoints remain open.

Although the open checkpoints are in neighboring Sampov Loun district, Battambang provincial De­partment of Commerce Di­rec­tor Promh Vanna agreed local traders will not be hurt by the border post closings, saying they could relocate their businesses.

Sareth Viseth also blamed Cam­bodian border police for the in­cident. The slain woman, whom police said traveled frequently to Cam­bodia to buy vegetables to resell in Thailand, should not have  entered Cambodia at night.

Sareth Viseth also expressed frus­tration at the Thai decision.                         “We are not God: We cannot ar­rest the suspects as quickly as they want,” he said.

(Additional re­­porting by Erik Wasson)


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