The Foreign Affairs Ministry yesterday said the Cambodian embassy in India will provide legal assistance to a monk arrested at an airport after he failed to reveal the source of wild boar fangs in his luggage.
According to news website The Hindu, Venerable Chan Sopheap, 44, was detained Wednesday at the Kempegowda International Airport in India’s Karnataka state.
It said Ven Sopheap was scheduled to board a domestic flight to Varanasi city when security personnel scanned his baggage and found the fangs.
It added Van Sopheap was arrested based on a complaint by Surendra Yadav, security in-charge. Airport police detained Ven Sopheap under sections of the Wildlife Protection Act and are investigating to determine the source of the fangs.
Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong yesterday said the embassy is currently seeking a lawyer to assist Ven Sopheap in India.
“When something goes wrong with our citizens, our embassy there will intervene to help,” Mr Kuong said, noting Ven Sopheap was arrested in Karnataka’s Bengaluru city.
Seng Somony, spokesman for the Cults and Religion Ministry, could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Venerable Khim Sorn, the chief monk of the Phnom Penh Municipal Mohanikaya Buddhist sect, said he heard about Ven Sopheap’s arrest but does not know the details.
“Our Buddhist monks living there informed me about Ven Sopheap’s arrest,” Ven Sorn said. “I told them to work with the embassy there…If they need help from us, we will do what we can.”
He said people who violate laws should be punished, adding he does not know why Ven Sopheap went to India and which pagoda he belongs to.