Cambodian military official caught smuggling statues out of the country

Statues confiscated at the Thai-Cambodian border. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20150427

A Cambodian official was caught smuggling three statues out of the country when he was checked by the customs officials at the Thai border.

Statues confiscated at the Thai-Cambodian border. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20150427
Statues confiscated at the Thai-Cambodian border. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20150427

Statues seized at border
Phnom Penh Post, 27 April 2015

Army Officer Smuggling Statues Into Thailand Caught at Border
Cambodia Daily, 27 April 2015

A military official was arrested in Thailand on Saturday after smuggling three statues across the border from Banteay Meanchey province in his car, officials said Sunday.

Prak Sa, chief of the Boeung Trakuon border checkpoint in Banteay Meanchey’s O’Chrou district, said that Soeun Oeun, 49—an intelligence officer from the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces’ Region 5 in Battambang province—was arrested at about 5 p.m., just after passing through screening on the Cambodian side of the checkpoint.

“We were careless with checking his car, in which he had hidden three ancient statues, but he was arrested by Thai border police,” Mr. Sa said. He said Mr. Oeun regularly went through the checkpoint in O’Beichoan commune to purchase food or gasoline in Thailand.

“The suspect goes back and forth every day,” he said, adding that Cambodian border police had never had reason to suspect nefarious activity.

Full story here.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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