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Animal smuggler snared

Police say the monitor lizards, pythons, ferrets, snakes and turtles they found in the home of a 30-year-old man in Stung Treng city yesterday were destined for sale in Vietnam.

The man was arrested and faces a fine of about 20 million riel, or US$5,000.

Vuthy Ravong, the Wildlife Alliance’s Rescue Team leader in Cambodia, said his team raided the residence in the early morning.

Several previous raids had turned up nothing, but Vuthy Ravong believes the man had run his business for an entire year.

“This time, we left from Ratanakkiri province to Stung Treng at 4am and surrounded the suspect about 5am when he was preparing all the wildlife for transport to Vietnam,” Vuthy Ravong said.

The rescue team released many of the animals into the wild in Mondulkiri province.

Sick ones were sent to a wildlife centre for treatment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Phak Seangly at seangly.phak@phnompenhpost.com

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