The Kratie provincial court on Thursday detained two men in the provincial prison after they were caught using illegal electric shock equipment for fishing in a dolphin conservation area in Chroy Ambil, which is within the vicinity of Chitr Borei district’s Sambok commune.
“Investigative judge Meng Sony decided to temporarily detain two suspects in the provincial prison. The judge charged them with using illegal electric shock equipment for fishing in the dolphin conservation area,” Kratie provincial court spokesman Tiv Vuth Then said on Thursday.
A senior official from the provincial Fisheries Administration told The Post on Thursday that the river patrol guards and fishing community members arrested them on Tuesday night after they were seen illegally catching fish.
Provincial Fisheries Administration deputy chief Mok Ponlok identified the suspects as Ros Pich, 23, and Ros Chan Ratana, 33.
They are residents of Sambok commune. In the operation, the river patrol guards confiscated a battery, an electric shock tool, fishing net and a six-metre-long boat as evidence.
“The Fisheries Administration specialist officials forwarded the case to the court and accused them of violating Article 98 of the Law on Fisheries.
“[According to the Article] the first offence carries a sentence of three to five years in prison. Evidence of the offence will be confiscated as state property or destroyed,” he stressed.
Ponlok said on Wednesday evening, the Fisheries Administration specialist officials had sent the suspects to the provincial court for further legal procedures.
Kratie Provincial Court spokesman Chea Sopheak told The Post on Wednesday that a prosecutor had questioned the two suspects and charged them with “using fish electric shock equipment in the Mekong River Dolphin conservation area”.
He said that for now, the suspects were still being detained for questioning by the investigative judge.
In a separate case on November 27, police officials in Chitr Borei district arrested two suspects for using illegal electric shock equipment in the Kampi Dolphin conservation area, according to the arrest warrant by investigating judge Eng Chamnab.
The two accused were identified as Chin Boma, 38, and Nuth Sam Oun, 28. They are the residents of Chitr Borei district’s Sambok commune.
Catching fish in the dolphin protection and conservation areas with nets and electric shock equipment is prohibited.
In early November, a female dolphin was found dead with its carcass entangled in the net of a fisherman in the Mekong River.
Ponlok said there were currently 55 to 60 dolphins in the Mekong River stretch in Kratie province in five different conservation areas.