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Premier says suspected spy leader has fled country

The three alleged spies after their arrest in Si Sa Ket province on June 7
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has admitted
that the suspected leader of three men arrested for alleged spying on
the Thai-Cambodian border has managed to flee the country.
Mr Abhisit yesterday said he had received information from
authorities concerned that the suspected leader of the group, who is a
Cambodian colonel, had escaped from Thailand.
Police are now questioning the three men who were detained in
connection with the alleged spying to find out further information, Mr
Abhisit said.
He insisted that Thailand had not fabricated the spying allegations against Cambodia.
A Thai, a Cambodian and a Vietnamese, were arrested in Kantharalak
district of Si Sa Ket on the evening of June 7 carrying maps with
military bases marked on them, according to police.

Also Read: Thai PM says Cambodian spy escapes

The three were identified as Suchart Muhammad, a 32-year-old Thai
Muslim, Cambodian citizen Ung Kimtai, 43, and Nguyen Teng Dang, 37, a
Vietnamese national. All three suspects denied they were spying in the
Cambodia accused Thailand of “deceitful fabrication” following the
arrests. Phnom Penh said the spy claims were fabricated to justify Thai
aggression against Cambodia along the border.
Police said Mr Suchart had admitted that he was paid 5,000 baht to
drive a pickup truck for a group of six men to gather information on
Thai military bases and bomb shelters at villages along the border in Si
Sa Ket.
Mr Suchart told police that the group was led by a Cambodian man called Wichai.
Mr Wichai and three other men managed to escape police arrest while the three others were arrested.
Mr Suchart alleged that Mr Wichai had managed to get away with maps with information on the Thai military bases in the area.
On Wednesday, the provincial court in Kantharalak district issued a
warrant for the arrest of Mr Wichai on a charge of espionage.
The name on his passport is reported to be Ya Pov or Chea Pov.
The 48-year-old Cambodian man is believed to have the military rank
of colonel and runs a business in Cambodia, according to police.
An Immigration Police source said it was believed Mr Wichai left
Thailand and crossed into Cambodia on June 9 via the immigration
checkpoint at Sa Kaeo’s Aranyaprathet district.
Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban yesterday defended soldiers
and police who failed to capture the suspected leader of the alleged
spying gang.
Mr Suthep said the army had done its best to prevent Cambodians from spying on Thai territory.
He said he did not think the escape was the army’s fault.
Mr Suthep, who is in charge of national security, said the
information on Thailand’s military bases which Mr Wichai had obtained
was not strategically important.
The bitter border dispute between Thailand and Cambodia has seen 28
people killed this year, and the row has since moved to the United
Nations’ International Court of Justice.
Categories: Local News
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