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Illegal wildlife meat vendor sent to court

A man poses for a photo with Mondulkiri police last week after he was arrested for possessing illegal meat and chainsaws. Photo supplied
A man poses for a photo with Mondulkiri police last week after he was arrested for possessing illegal meat and chainsaws. Photo supplied

Illegal wildlife meat vendor sent to court

A man arrested on Saturday while allegedly transporting some 80 kilograms of illegal banteng meat was charged with “hunting and trading in rare animals” by Mondulkiri Provincial Court and placed under pretrial detention yesterday.

Keo Sopheak, deputy chief of the Mondulkiri Protected Forest, identified the suspect as Ton Tith, of Pech Cheada district, who implicated a suspected hunter under questioning.

“We arrested him because of the obvious crime,” Sopheak said yesterday. “After the interrogation, he was charged with hunting and trading rare animals based on Article 98 of the Forestry Law.”

During the interrogation, Tith maintained that he had bought the meat from alleged local hunter Soy Soeung, adding that he had bought meat from the man three times before, Sopheak said.

Acting on that information, police executed a search warrant for Soeung’s house.

At the home, authorities found and confiscated three chainsaws, a crossbow, five crossbow bolts, 18 cable animal traps, a banteng head, an elephant tusk, a monkey head, three boar’s tusks, a deer leg, a bloody knife and two bunches of peacock feathers, Sopheak said.

“On Monday morning, we will prepare a lawsuit to sue Soy Soeung and his wife before the court so that the court will intervene and issue an arrest warrant,” he added.

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