Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Police intercept vehicle with smuggled wildlife

Police intercept vehicle with smuggled wildlife

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Police open bags containing smuggled wildlife after they intercepted a vehicle in Banteay Meanchey province on Monday. national police

Police intercept vehicle with smuggled wildlife

Banteay Meanchey provincial authorities on Sunday night intercepted a haul of nearly 700 tortoises and water monitor lizards imported from Thailand.

Chab Sopharith, Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy police chief, said the operation was carried out on National Road 59, in the province’s Malai commune. A driver was arrested but later released when it was ascertained that he was not involved in the case.

“We have one suspect, but investigations are ongoing so we cannot comment further,” Sopharith said.

Sin Oeu Nabot, a deputy at Banteay Meanchey Provincial Forestry Administration, said he had received 618 tortoises, of which 19 had died, while 50 of the 70 seized water monitor lizards survived. He said the animals would be released with permission from the Banteay Meanchey provincial governor.

“We lack suitable facilities as we were not established to impound wild animals. But we have no problems caring for them,” Oeu Nabot said.

Sopharith said he couldn’t comment on local media reports as the case was under investigation. He said that like the drugs trade, wildlife crimes were difficult to investigate. “Wildlife trafficking is hard to intercept as the criminals involved, like drug traffickers, are well organised,” he said.

Sopharith said that although the latest haul is the biggest for the year thus far, a larger shipment of tortoises was intercepted last year, also from Thailand. Sopharith said Phnom Penh was the Kingdom’s biggest market for wild animals as demand in the provinces is not as great.

MOST VIEWED

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.

  • Gov’t says tourism recovers slightly despite pandemic

    The Ministry of Tourism and the Phnom Penh municipal administration have recognised 33 tourism businesses in the capital which have consistently implemented safety measures for tourists and adhered to the code of conduct issued by the ministry. Recently, the ministry announced that tourism businesses had to

  • Mull ASEAN border opening, PM urges

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that ASEAN launch a scenario for gradually reopening cross-border travel and trade between countries in the region. He said ASEAN has had more success combating Covid-19 compared to other regions. The prime minister’s request was made at the

  • Ministry reports 11 new Covid-19 cases, reiterates vigilance

    Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has urged people to continue practising virus prevention techniques after 11 people tested positive for Covid-19 within two days after arriving in the Kingdom. Speaking on Sunday, Bun Heng stressed the importance of washing hands, wearing masks or scarves when

  • Nine on Indonesia flight Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health on Saturday confirmed nine more imported cases of Covid-19. The nine ‒ eight Cambodians and one Indonesian, aged 22 to 26 ‒ arrived in Cambodia on Thursday via a direct flight from Indonesia and are receiving treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hostipal in Phnom Penh.

  • Kingdom’s financial sector healthy

    Cambodia's financial sector remains on a sustainable growth path despite the Covid-19 pandemic squeezing crucial industries, National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) governor Chea Chanto said. Tourism, garments and footwear have borne the brunt of the Covid-19 impact, he said, whereas the financial and agriculture sectors

  • Vietnam told to remove border tents

    Kandal provincial governor Kong Sophoan has ordered local authorities to prohibit the construction of buildings in areas bordering Cambodia and to report any irregularities immediately. Recently, Vietnamese officials removed another seven tents from the border area with Cambodia. His remarks were made on Wednesday afternoon

  • Migrant workers set to return from Malaysia

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation confirmed on Thursday that 158 Cambodian students and migrant workers will fly home from Malaysia on Friday morning. This is the second flight to bring Cambodians home from Malaysia. A ministry notice said Malaysia Airlines Flight MH754 will

  • Cambodia to remain neutral on ASEAN-China territorial dispute

    Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn told an informal meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers on Wednesday that Cambodia will stay neutral on the South China Sea. He appealed to all stakeholders to continue fostering a conducive environment that contributes to the end