Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Military officer linked to wildlife smuggling

Military officer linked to wildlife smuggling

Military officer linked to wildlife smuggling

RATANAKKIRI provincial authorities have identified a military officer as the owner of an abandoned car that was found near the Vietnamese border last week carrying more than 300 kilograms of protected wildlife.

Nov Dara, deputy chief of the provincial Bureau for Combating Economic Crime, yesterday identified the car’s owner as as Prum Saream, a military border officer based in Ratanakkiri.

“We sent a report and the car to the provincial Forestry Department in order for them to investigate this case,” he said. “I have handed over details of this person’s identity, such as his name and position, to forestry officials already.”

Pen Bonnar, provincial coordinator for the rights group Adhoc, said that so far, the military official was denying involvement.

“Prum Saream said it is his car, but that his friend borrowed it from him and he did not know it was being loaded with wildlife,” he said. Pen Bonnar said the officer would not face punishment if he was able to provide evidence to support his alibi.

On Monday last week, provincial authorities discovered the car abandoned near the Vietnamese border and confiscated 354 kilograms of protected wildlife, including snakes, turtles, civets and newts.

Pen Bonnar said wildlife trafficking was not uncommon in Ratanakkiri.

“We see that authorities do not seem to have a strong enough ability to confiscate wildlife until they are criticised by people,” he said.

Meanwhile, authorities in Kandal province on Friday confiscated 116 kilograms of wildlife, including turtles, snakes and newts, in a raid in Koh Thom district’s Sampov Puon commune.

Provincial police chief Iv Chamroeun said a suspect had been sent to court for further questioning.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all