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Python peddler arrested

Police in Kandal province’s Koh Thom district seized a shipment of live pythons en route to market in Vietnam on Friday, arresting the accused smuggler and turning the snakes over to conservation group Wildlife Alliance, police said yesterday.

District police chief Muy Chan Pich said the snakes – some 80 kilograms’ worth – were found stashed in the motorbike of suspect Soeung Vy, 24, who was attempting to cross the border into Vietnam.

Eav Chamroeun, a provincial police official, said that the suspect would be sent to court.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a Wildlife Alliance employee said yesterday that the organisation would be releasing the pythons back into the wild today in Mondulkiri’s Keo Seima district.

Friday’s seizure comes after the release of a report earlier in the week by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which highlighted fears that python skins sourced from Cambodia were being illegally harvested in the wild.

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