Arrested ferret seller rewarded
A provincial prosecutor has used his own money to compensate a desperately poor woman for the confiscation of three protected ferrets she was trafficking to sell in order to feed her family.
The woman, who was not named, was caught with the ferrets on Friday on a motorbike taxi on National Road 6 in Kampong Thom province’s Santuk district.
Santuk district military police chief Srey Chamnan said officers stopped her because the motorbike was being driven hesitantly.
“She was carrying three ferrets,” Mr Chamnan said.
“She said she bought them at the intersection leading to Sambo Prey Kok. When I asked why she knew where to buy them, she said she had done this three or four times before, but was caught every time,” he said.
She had bought them for 500,000 riel (about $25) and transported them to Tbong Khmum province for resale.
Provincial prosecutor Ith Sothea said that due to her absolute poverty, she was released without punishment.
“It is not trafficking because, first, she is poor, second, she saved the money to buy them for resale. Considering her living conditions, she is absolutely poor,” he said.
“We asked her to pay the fine, but she had no money at all and even though we let her go home, she refused to do so.
“She said that her children and husband would starve to death because they had very little money and it was spent on these three ferrets.
“So I let her go with a contract not to repeat the crime and I bought the three ferrets from her for 400,000 riel.”
The ferrets were later handed over to the forestry administration for release at Phnom Tamao Mountain,” he added.
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