Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Speedy getaway for turtles in Banteay Meanchey

Speedy getaway for turtles in Banteay Meanchey

Bags of turtles sit under an overturned car yesterday morning in Banteay Meanchey province after the car veered off the road during a pursuit by authorities. National Police
Bags of turtles sit under an overturned car yesterday morning in Banteay Meanchey province after the car veered off the road during a pursuit by authorities. National Police

Speedy getaway for turtles in Banteay Meanchey

A Toyota Camry overturned during a high-speed pursuit in Banteay Meanchey province on Wednesday night, spilling its cargo of more than 100 smuggled turtles.

Provincial economic police chief Chap Sopharith said his officers confiscated the amphibian cargo after the vehicle crashed in O’Chrou district’s Koup commune. They had given pursuit after a tipoff from villagers.

“People gave us information that there was a vehicle carrying turtles from the [Thai] border, so our officers chased the car. They were afraid that our officers might catch them, and he drove too fast, which resulted in the car overturning,” Sopharith said, speculating that the drivers were probably hired for the border run in Thailand.

Six of 14 turtle species native to Cambodia are endangered, meaning hunting wild specimens is punishable with up to a year in prison and the turtle trade is strictly regulated.

When the officers caught up with the overturned vehicle, its driver had already fled the scene, Sopharith said. The suspect left behind 120 live turtles, weighing 281 kilograms, which were crawling about, having spilled from the bags in which they were being transported.

“This is our office’s first turtle seizure this year,” Sopharith said, adding that the haul was handed over yesterday to the Forestry Administration, whose officials agreed to safely release them back into the wild.

Kandal province customs officials seized 364 kilograms of live turtles by last month. Another 61 turtles were seized in May, and 103 endangered yellow-headed temple turtles were intercepted en route to Vietnam in March.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom’s domestic milk still cannot compete with imports

    Price competition and a lack of confidence by consumers are the main reasons the dairy market cannot compete with imports, said domestic milk producers. The large displays of imported fresh milk at the Kingdom’s supermarkets present a cumbersome obstacle for local producers, they said.

  • Forest Harmony’s $18M luxury villas break ground in Kampot

    Local and French joint-venture Forest Harmony has broken ground on its $18 million “second-home” Luxury Holiday Villas project in Kampot province. Century 21 Mekong CEO and local shareholder of the project Chrek Soknim told The Post that the project will comprise 90 villa units covering 18ha on a 97

  • US, Cambodia pledge to strengthen military ties

    The US on Tuesday pledged to help train military officers, particularly Cambodia’s blue helmet troops deployed for UN’s peacekeeping operations. The pledge was made during a meeting between US ambassador Patrick Murphy and Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) commander-in-chief General Vong Pisen. Further

  • Sokha treason case to go to trial after probe concludes

    The investigation into the charge of treason against Kem Sokha, the former president of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party, has concluded, with the case sent for trial. The Phnom Penh Municipal Court is yet to announce a date for the hearing. “An investigating

  • Sokha lodges an appeal over treason case reaching court

    Kem Sokha, the president of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), has appealed against the decision to send his treason case to trial. Sokha’s legal team said their client was not satisfied with the decision of a Phnom Penh Municipal Court investigating

  • EU ambassador expresses hope for Kingdom retaining EBA status

    New EU ambassador to Cambodia Carmen Moreno met with National Assembly president Heng Samrin and expressed her interest in helping Cambodia retain the “Everything But Arms” (EBA) agreement. Moreno paid a courtesy call on Samrin at the National Assembly on Tuesday on her first day