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Pattaya Daily News

22 August 2010 :: 13:08:15 pm 36112

Politics Not Involved in Thai-Cambodian “Spy” Accusations

Following the detention of three Thai villagers who unknowingly wandered into Cambodian territory recently, Thailand has sort to assure its citizens that the men are not spies and had been detained in an isolated incident unrelated to the ongoing political tensions.
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Surin, the 20th of August 2010: The trio of hunters, Sanong Wongchareon, Ling Pongphet and Lan Sapsri, were arrested by Cambodian border police earlier this week after they had strayed across the border from the northeastern province of Surin.

Initial reports suggested that the group were Thai spies due to the ongoing political tension between the neighbouring countries over the Preah Vihear Temple. However, it has now been ascertained that the three men had been carrying crude homemade firearms, hunting and gathering resources in the forested region. Allegedly, they unknowingly crossed the border at which point they were detained by Cambodian authorities.

Second Army Region Commander Lieutenant General Veevalit Chornsamrit reaffirmed the public that the three arrested men, now detained in Siam Reap, are not spies and were merely hunting in the forested border region. Lt. Gen. Chornsamrit explained that the trio would now face legal prosecution in Cambodia before being deported back across the border.

“The villagers simply strayed while hunting for game,” the Thai commander said. “Recently some Cambodians were discovered crossing into Thailand, which we deported back to their homeland, according to the Thai commander.”

Thai officials are now cooperating with their Cambodian counterparts in order to bring back the three men, while residents along the extensive border have been urged to take care when moving close to the border and to refrain from entering the forested regions near the Preah Vihear Temple to avoid a repeat of the ongoing situation.

Deputy Director of the Thailand’s Foreign Ministry (Department of Information) Thani Thangpakdee, revealed that the Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh had already been engaged to provide assistance to the three arrested Thai nationals.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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