Six Thais nabbed for trespass into Laos
Six local men from Ubon Ratchathani province have been in custody in Laos since the weekend on charges of trespassing, Thai News Agency reported.
The seventh member of the group was not captured by Lao border authorities in the border mountain area of Phanom Dong Rak. Thai provincial police, army and civil officials, are meeting with the Lao authorities for the release of the group, who were arrested while searching for forest products on a hill.
Somjai Buahom, chief of Nong Bua Patana village near the border, informed police that the seven men entered the forest near Phanom Dong Rak mountain on Saturday and camped in the woods some 500 metres from the border.
About 10 Laotian soldiers arrested them on Sunday morning and charged them with trespassing. The six Thais, aged 20 to 48, have been held in Laos since Sunday.
The Lao authorities demanded fines of US$1,000 or Bt30,000 each.
Saeng Chanacharn, 31, who eluded arrest, said the group walked on the mountain from Baan None Soong to find forest materials and bamboo to make furniture.
The villager said he heard gunshots Sunday morning when he was about 100 metres from the group. He saw Lao soldiers walking downhill with his group heading for Kusuma, a town in Laos. He insisted that the area where his companions were when arrested was within Thailand.