Kampong Speu Military Police, along with Wild-life Alliance experts, on Wednesday cracked down on a home in Chech village where they confiscated nearly 20 kilograms of live wild animals, officials said on Thursday.
Yuk Dy, commander of the Military Police in Phnom Sruoch district, said his forces cooperated with Wildlife Alliance and the district’s Forestry Administration to carry out the raid.
Dy said the suspect had fled his home, but authorities managed to seize the wildlife, which included one King Cobra, four other snakes and five turtles. The King Cobra is listed as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Military Police will continue to investigate the case in order to arrest the suspect, he said.
Doun Boreth, deputy chief for the Forestry Administration in Phnom Sruoch district, said he had already turned the animals over to Wildlife Alliance, which would release them back into the wild. Boreth said the wildlife broker had planned to transfer the animals to Phnom Penh, but villagers alerted police, who were able to intervene in time.
The trafficking of rare wildlife for meat or use in traditional medicine is common in Cambodia.