A 28-year-old man was arrested on Friday for trafficking over 50 kilograms of live wild animals in Tbong Khmum’s Memot district, officials said yesterday.
According to Vuthy Ravong, head of the Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team (WRRT), the suspect – whom he was unable to identify – was transporting an Asiatic soft-shell turtle, six palm civets and more than 20 elongated tortoises on National Road 7. “We received a tip-off about wildlife trafficking on a bus and our officials arrested the man who picked up the animals from the bus,” he said.
Ravong added that three WRRT officials were tailing the bus when it stopped in Memot district for the animals to be picked up by the suspect.
“After the bus stopped to leave the animals for the man, our three officers arrested him. The bus drove away and we could not stop it because we only had three officials,” he said.
He added that the suspect has been handed over to the local Forestry Administration (FA) and that WRRT has transferred the animals to Takeo province’s Phnom Tamao zoo.
Tuot Vutha, provincial deputy director of the FA, confirmed the bust but was unaware of what action will be taken against the suspect.