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Wildlife seized in two busts

Authorities hold bags of wildlife last week in Koh Kong after they were intercepted during transportation to the capital. Wildlife Alliance
Authorities hold bags of wildlife last week in Koh Kong after they were intercepted during transportation to the capital. Wildlife Alliance

Wildlife seized in two busts

Fisheries Administration (FiA) officials in Kampong Chhnang province confiscated an endangered fish weighing almost 40 kilograms from a tuk-tuk driver on Sunday in Boribor district’s Ponlai commune.

Deputy district FiA chief Chhim Dan said his officers intercepted the tuk-tuk-borne Siamese giant carp – which is listed as being critically endangered – following tip-offs from local motodops.

“The fish was already dead, having been caught in the river. The suspect put it on his tuk-tuk in order to bring it to the bus station,” Dan said, adding that the driver fled the scene before officers could ascertain his identity.

He added that as of yesterday the driver had not reported to the local FiA office, where his tuk-tuk is currently being held pending his payment of a fine.

The Law on Fisheries prescribes that those found to be catching, selling, buying, transporting, collecting or stockpiling endangered fish should be fined two to three times the market value of the fish.

Contacted yesterday, multiple FiA officials were unable to say what fine the tuk-tuk driver could expect to pay should he turn himself in. “Its owner doesn’t care about it, why should you care?” provincial Fisheries Administration chief Som Phirun said yesterday.

Meanwhile, a Koh Kong man was caught illegally transporting 41 kilograms of wild pig meat by Forestry Administration officials working alongside Wildlife Alliance in Sre Ambel district. A posting on the NGO’s Facebook page said he was fined $750.

The NGO also noted another recent Koh Kong bust in which turtles, pangolins and monitor lizards had been seized and later released in the southern Cardamom Mountains.

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