Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Elephant ivory seized at border

Elephant ivory seized at border

Elephant ivory seized at border

Military police seized more than 260 kilograms of elephant ivory near the Vietnamese border in Svay Rieng province on Friday, an official said, the second major bust in as many months.

Svay Rieng provincial military police chief San Bunthan said the 263 kilograms – or 77 pieces – of ivory tusks was hidden inside 10 suitcases in the back of a van heading towards Vietnam.

“We doubted that the van was transporting timber, so police chased [it] … [and] found that there were many [pieces of] ivory hidden in the van, not timber,” Bunthan said on Friday, adding that the suspect fled the scene when the vehicle was stopped.

Bunthan said he was unsure which country the ivory had originally been smuggled from.

Nick Marx, director of wildlife rescue and care at the Wildlife Alliance, said yesterday the case was just one example of a wider problem.

“People are slaughtering elephants all over just for their tusks,” he said.

Last month, two Vietnamese nationals were arrested at Siem Reap International Airport and charged with attempting to smuggle almost 80 kilograms of elephant ivory into the country.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY ALICE CUDDY

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,