11 July 2024

Thailand will talk with Cambodia about online scammers who operate along the border when both countries’ prime ministers meet this week, said Thai Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara.

The scammers have been annoying and have caused a lot damage for the Thai public, Parnpree said, adding that urgent suppression is needed.

Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin is scheduled to visit Phnom Penh on Thursday this week, during which he will hold talks with Cambodia’s new Prime Minister Hun Manet. Cambodia is the first ASEAN country Srettha will visit after officially taking office earlier this month.

Parnpree said Thailand wants to suppress all scammer operations, not one by one which would be an endless job.

Parnpree, also a deputy prime minister, visited border the province of Sa Kaeo on Monday, where he observed the progress of the building of the Thai-Cambodian Friendship Bridge, linking Ban Nong Ian in Aranyaprathet district with Cambodia’s Ban Stung Bot in Oddar Meanchey district.

He was briefed that the bilateral border trade in the province, between October 2022 and August 2023, was valued at Bt103.6 billion

The minister quoted the army as telling him that it was responsible for clearing the landmines along the border in an area covering about 100 square kilometres.

The work has been in progress and now only 5.9 square kilometres are left. Parnpree said he will raise the issue with the Cambodian side, to develop the now safe area for the benefit of both peoples.

“Thailand is ready to develop the land and we will ask Phnom Penh about the idea. If it is OK, both countries could develop it into an economic zone,” the minister said.

Sophia C Yothasmut