MondUlkiri Provincial Court on Tuesday charged a man who allegedly set traps resulting in the deaths of several species of wild animals in Srepok Wildlife Sanctuary.
Deputy prosecutor Mam Vanda yesterday identified the accused as Hok Vann, 19, from Koh Nhek district’s Nang Khy lik commune.
“The investigating judge is currently continuing the inquiry process to search for the other people involved, including those who bought the wild animals from the accused,” Mr Vanda said. “However, we don’t yet know how many people will be summoned.” He added the accused has been sent to prison pending trial.
Provincial environment department director Keo Sopheak said yesterday that Vann was arrested by park rangers on Monday after he allegedly set traps to catch wild animals, including using explosives, chemicals, poison and electric equipment, which pose a hazard to wild animals, rangers on patrol and those who go into the forest to look for forest products.
After the arrest, the rangers seized half a kilogramme of explosives, three electricity cables, a solar cell and many other kinds of traps.
“The accused confessed he and three or four accomplices had already set 100 traps to catch critically endangered species, including banteng, roe deer, wild boar, civet and other animals,” Mr Sopheak said.
He added that rangers in collaboration with provincial authorities are searching for the accomplices to take legal action against them.
Mr Sopheak noted that since the beginning the month, two suspects were arrested by rangers for allegedly committing natural resources crimes in the sanctuary.
The Environment Ministry on Monday highlighted more than 2,000 cases of forestry crimes which ministry officials uncovered during crackdowns last year. This resulted in the seizure of more than 4,000 illegal wildlife traps.
Ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra said officials from the provincial environment departments, directors of protected areas and forest rangers seized nearly 10,000 cubic metres of plywood, 800 cubic metres of timber, 695 cubic metres of luxury wood and 4,047 wildlife traps.
He said 314 vehicles, about 500 chainsaws and 153 handsaws were seized during the crackdowns, 470 people were made to sign social contracts, 37 were educated, and some cases were sent to court.