Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rangers seize guns, snares and chainsaws in north Cardamoms

Rangers seize guns, snares and chainsaws in north Cardamoms

Rangers seize guns, snares and chainsaws in north Cardamoms

NGO Wildlife Alliance’s rangers seized an AK-47 assault rifle, four chainsaws, metal snares and other miscellaneous items from a suspect at Roveang Station in the northern Cardamom Mountains last week.

The arsenal of hunting gear also included a set of machetes – strong evidence that the offender was using the weapons to hunt wildlife for consumption in Cambodia or to be sent to a middleman for trafficking into Vietnam or China.

“Homemade guns are commonly seized by the rangers, with Wildlife Alliance seizing more than 700 rifles since the establishment of the Cardamom Rainforest Protection Programme in 2002,” the NGO said on Monday.

This wasn’t the first confiscation of an assault rifle by the NGO, and it served as a reminder that some forest criminals carry weapons which pose far more of a threat than the more prevalent but poorly constructed homemade guns capable of firing only one round at a time.

Assault rifles like AK-47s can be used by criminals to intimidate others, including those attempting to stop them from committing forest crimes. Firing rounds into the air while being pursued by rangers is one technique that’s been used in the past.

Wildlife Alliance’s rangers may well confiscate more assault rifles as they continue to patrol almost 1.5 million hectares of the Cardamom Rainforest Landscape in an attempt to stop wildlife trafficking and deforestation.

The NGO said the confiscated weapons demonstrate the importance of highly effective law enforcement, including rigorous ranger training to ensure they are equipped to deal with any challenges they face in their line of work.

Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra said the ministry asked the government for permission to allow all rangers to be armed on their patrols and it was granted. He said all 1,260 rangers have been equipped with guns while on patrol since last year.

“They have been training to use firearms and studying firearms laws. We allow them to take the weapons along to protect themselves because we do not know if an offender is armed or not. They are often covered by darkness, making it easy for them to harm rangers,” he said.


  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has given the green light for anyone who contracts the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron mutation or any other variant to convalesce or receive treatment at home or in any other reasonable non-healthcare setting. The new decision supersedes a restriction on home care for

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa