Economic police in Pursat temporarily detained two out of a group of 20 to 30 people who were seen illegally fishing in a protected area on Saturday.
Local police tipped off the economic police, who staged the Saturday raid on the large fishing group in the Lot 6 Protected Area in Pursat province's Kandieng district.
They only managed to apprehend two men – a Cambodian and a Vietnamese national.
Meas Bunthoeun, the head of economic police in the province, said that because neither man was the ringleader they were ordered to sign a pledge promising not to offend again before being released.
The authorities also seized two boats, 120 metres of netting and 60 kilograms of fish in the raid.
Another Cambodian man came to the police station hours later and asked to have some of the seized equipment back, saying that it belonged to his brother. Police denied the request.
The deputy chief of the economic police in Pursat, Ros Bunan, said he suspected the illegal fishermen got a “green light” from commune officials to operate in the protected area.