Armed and Distressed Cambodian soldier crosses Thai border

Armed Cambodian soldier, photo by Naewna.

An armed and distressed Cambodian soldier drove through a checkpoint and crossed the border into Thailand’s eastern province of Sa Kaeo on Saturday night.

The soldier, Colonel Sok Banpol, drove his car to an intersection and parked there. The Cambodian soldier remained in his car until Sunday morning. Sok’s relatives arrived on the scene to try to convince him to surrender.

Sok later reportedly got out of his car and walked around his car holding a gun.

Luckily, the Thai SWAT police were then able to swoop in and disarm the troubled soldier without anyone being harmed. Sok was taken to a hospital, and authorities planned to drug test him. Cambodian authorities will then prosecute him.

Thai media outlet Naewna reported that Sok was distressed due to family problems.

In the past, Thai soldiers have also committed crimes. In 2021 a soldier killed 21 people and injured dozens more in the province. A year earlier, in 2020, a soldier shot 29 people and wounded dozens of others before he was shot dead by commandos.

Just last month, a former Thai police officer killed 37 people in total including 24 children under six years old while they were taking an afternoon nap at a daycare centre in the northeastern Nong Bua Lamphu province.

The latest incident with Sok is another example of dangerous behaviour from an authority figure. Luckily, SWAT police were able to stop the situation from escalating.

World News

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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