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Reptile caper in the bag for border cops

People weigh bags of wildlife in Kandal province on Wednesday after they were seized by authorities. Photo supplied
People weigh bags of wildlife in Kandal province on Wednesday after they were seized by authorities. Photo supplied

Reptile caper in the bag for border cops

A car filled with a slithering menagerie of reptiles destined to be sold at market in Vietnam was seized by Cambodia-Vietnam border officials in Kandal province on Wednesday night, according to Koh Thom district police.

Muong Dara, director of the local customs office, said yesterday that his team had deployed forces to Koh Thom’s Sampov Puon village after receiving a tip-off from a villager at 7:30pm, informing them that a car carrying wild animals was preparing to cross the border to Vietnam.

“We spotted a car carrying a strange plate number,” he said, explaining that the plate – registered to Phnom Penh – bore only three digits instead of four, the standard assigned to all vehicles registered in Kandal.

“When our forces stopped [the car] for checking, the driver got out of the car and escaped,” he said. “After inspecting the car, the team found many types of wild animals including 124 kilograms of snakes and 243 kilograms of mountain tortoises.”

The car has been impounded for further investigation, and the animals will either be freed into the forest or handed to WildAid, a wildlife conservation group, he added.

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