A 44-year-old man was released yesterday following his arrest on Monday after he was caught at a market in Siem Reap with 160 live lesser whistling ducks, which he planned to transport to Phnom Penh, officials said yesterday.
Mong Bunlim, director of the provincial Forestry Administration, said Suong Kansorya, from Siem Reap province, was released because the ducks are not an endangered species. However, he was fined under Article 96 of the Forestry Law, though he declined to say how much the fine was, beyond noting that it was based on the value of the wildlife he was transporting.
“We [confiscated the ducks] and freed them back to a protected forest in Siem Reap province,” he said, adding that officials also issued a warning letter to the suspect to not commit the same act again.
Kansorya was arrested at Angkrong market in Prasat Bakong district’s Kantraing commune on Monday. Tea Kemsot, director of the provincial Agriculture Department, said the suspect was intercepted by provincial Military Police.
“The suspect had plans to haul the lesser whistling ducks to Phnom Penh by crossing Kampong Thom province, but the haul didn’t reach its destination – we managed to halt it in time,” he said.
Trafficking of wildlife remains a common practice in Cambodia. In mid-November, a traditional medicine shop was raided for trafficking in 16 different species of animals, some of them rare or endangered.