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At Least Forty-nine Khmer Fishermen were Arrested in Thailand - 2005-03-03

Koh Kong officials say the Thai authority has arrested at least 49 Khmer fishermen and charged them with illegal fishing.

The incident took place on Tuesday night in Trad province. A witness said the fishermen were hired by the Thai to fish in Thai waters before but they have never been arrested.

The witness speculated that a business dispute between the Thai fishermen had led to the arrest. He also said that the Thai fisherman who hired the Cambodians offered to pay the fines to win the release of the Cambodian nationals, but the Thai authorities said they would send the Cambodian fishermen to Trad jail.

Koh Kong governor told VOA that he has sent a team to Thailand to resolve the issue and that the Cambodian fishermen would be released soon.