In Thailand, the government has denied recent charges from Vietnam and Kampuchea that arms and supplies from China are being allowed to pass through Thailand to troops of the ousted Pol Pot government in Kampuchea.
GV & CU Thai naval vessel patrolling in the Gulf of Siam. (2 SHOTS)
LV & SV Gunner and observer watching as ship approaches Kut Island. (4 SHOTS)
CU Reporters watch as vessel approaches Ban Ao Yai Bay. (2 SHOTS)
LV & CU Fishermen mending nets aboard boats. (3 SHOTS)
GV Naval vessel tied up at end of jetty.
SV Women walking on jetty.
LV PULL BACK GV Fishing boats with naval vessel in background.
LV & CU Street scenes in Klong Yai on other side of island with people shopping. (3 SHOTS)
LV & SV Fishing boats in harbour (2 SHOTS)
CU & SV Baskets of fish being unloaded. (3 SHOTS)
SV Thai troops patrolling water front.
GV Naval vessel patrolling off shore.
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Background: In Thailand, the government has denied recent charges from Vietnam and Kampuchea that arms and supplies from China are being allowed to pass through Thailand to troops of the ousted Pol Pot government in Kampuchea. The denial follows an earlier plea from Thailand to both China and Vietnam not to involve their neighbours in their disputes.
SYNOPSIS: The arms from China were said to been smuggled in by way of Kut Island in the Gulf of Siam. It lies near the border between Thailand and Kampuchea and recently a group of journalists were invited to join a government patrol in the Gulf, to see for themselves the efforts made by the Thai Government to prevent smuggling. The Thai authorities have counter-charged the Vietnamese and Kampuchean governments with incursions into Thai territory near the border. These allegations have caused an increase in tension between the two countries.
Kut Island has a population of only 500, mostly fishermen and their families. The only other source of livelihood is collecting rubber from the trees that grow in clearings inland. In spite of Government denials, there has been an increase in the number of naval patrols around the island, which the authorities say would make any attempt to smuggle arms into the island an impossibility.
Klong Yai is one of the main villages, and those who spoke to the newsmen there denies any contact with Chinese arms suppliers.
Most of the fishing catch is landed in the tiny harbour. There it is packed for sale on the mainland or turned into a sauce for which the island is well known.
A Thai naval officer told the journalists that in recent weeks a number of Vietnamese vessels has been sighted in the Gulf, but there had been no direct contact. So far, the only exchanges have been at diplomatic level.