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Heavy fine for wildlife smuggler on the lam

A 28-year-old man was tried in absentia by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday and found guilty of illegally smuggling of 75 kilograms of wildlife, including snakes, turtles and pangolins.

Phuong Kea Ty was attempting to smuggle the wildlife to Vietnam in August 2012 where he planned to sell the animals, judge Chaing Sinath said. Stopped at a checkpoint, Kea Ty successfully fled, after which Forestry Administration officials discovered the rare animals sealed in a box in his car.

“Based on the evidence, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court has found that Phuong Kea Ty is guilty,” Sinath said. “So I have decided to fine him 19 million riel [$4,750] and order his car confiscated [and sold] with the money put it into the national budget.”

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