There were over 4,000 cases total of fisheries and wildlife crimes in 2021 nationwide, with nearly 200 suspects referred to court, according to a report by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
Ministry spokesman Srey Vuthy told The Post that 2,998 cases of fishery offences led to arrests throughout the country. Evidence seized included more than one million metres of fishing nets and 183 illegal electric-shock fishing tools.
The ministry also noted the release of a variety of fish back into the rivers and lakes of the Kingdom, with a total of 38,572 tonnes of fish granted reprieves and given new leases on life.
“The authorities have sent 185 cases to court involving 103 suspects and imposed fines in another 76 cases of more than 288 million riel to be paid into the state budget,” he said.
According to Vuthy, the Forestry Administration has also been actively cracking down on 1,462 forest and wildlife crimes across the country, arresting 70 perpetrators and confiscating a lot of their equipment as evidence, including 511 vehicles and 308 heavy construction vehicles such as tractors, excavators and bulldozers, 168 motorcycles, 13 boats, 30 motorboats, 16 chainsaws and equipment for some processing wood in illegal factories.
“Of the 1,462 forest and wildlife crime cases, the authorities have sent 877 cases to the court and 585 cases have been resolved by educating the offenders and imposing fines in accordance with the forestry law,” he said.
Neither Keo Omalis, the government delegate in charge of the Forestry Administration, nor Forestry Administration spokesman Suon Sovann could be reached for comment on December 28.