Cam Transit Import, the firm responsible for the transportation of some 1.3 tonnes of elephant tusk ivory uncovered by customs officials in the capital’s Por Sen Chey district last Friday, was involved in a similar bust in October, Wildlife Alliance (WA) and customs officials have said.
The NGO, in a post to its Facebook page yesterday, said the case implicated alleged smuggler Nguyen Tien Chuong, a fact confirmed by a customs agent who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“These elephants were massacred in Mozambique, Africa, for massive smuggling to China via Cambodia . . . WE NEED TO GET THIS MAN ARRESTED,” the WA post states.
The customs official said Cam Transit Import – which was involved in an October bust in Vietnam involving nearly a tonne of ivory – was delivering the wood to another company, Sar Ho Logistics.
The illegal animal parts were hidden in a timber shipment from Mozambique that was destined for China. Cambodian authorities uncovered 640 pieces of elephant tusk ivory weighing 1.3 tonnes, 137 kilograms of pangolin scales, 10 cheetah skulls and 82 kilograms of miscellaneous animal bones.
“This is a huge case with too many dead elephants. We should be seeking justice for these animals,” Kandal customs director Kdov Nuch said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Reuters yesterday reported that on Wednesday, Kenyan officials seized nearly 2 tonnes of ivory also hidden in planks headed for Cambodia. Conservationists have voiced concern that Cambodia has emerged as a key transit route for African ivory.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY AFP