Snakes and Tortoises Rescued

Pav Suy / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Dozens of turtles and snakes were found in an abandonded car on Wednesday. Supplied

A police chase in Kandal province on Wednesday night resulted in the rescue of some 340 kilograms of snakes and tortoises destined for Vietnam, while Tuesday saw police in Takeo province detain a minivan loaded with illegally imported shrimp.
 
Officials at the Chrey Thom International Checkpoint in Kandal province’s Koh Thom district found a large number of bags containing snakes and tortoises after the driver of a Nissan car fled.
 
“We don’t know how many snakes and turtles are there, but we know their weight. The combined snakes and tortoises weigh 367 kilograms, with the snakes weighing 124 and the tortoises 243 kilograms,” Moung Dara, the customs chief at the checkpoint, told Khmer Times.
 
“After a tip-off from my undercover officer, the customs forces gave a short chase for about 500 meters until the driver stopped the car and fled the scene,” he said, declining to comment in detail about the intelligence, or how the driver managed to evade police.
 
Mr. Dara said that environment NGO Wildlife Alliance collected the seized animals and would release them back into the wild.
 
On Tuesday, police in Takeo province confiscated 300 kilograms of shrimp that had been illegally imported from Vietnam, although local media reported that after intervention from an Interior Ministry official, no arrests were made.
 
In another series of operations on Tuesday, police in Takeo province stopped a minivan carrying a large quantity of shrimp without permission or regulations that were imported from Vietnam and bound for the capital,
 
The van was intercepted in O Chambok commune in Takeo’s Daun Keo town along with four people, who were allegedly let go after intervention from a high-ranking official at the Ministry of Interior.
 
Daun Keo town deputy police chief Im Mondul said he received a tip-off about the car and asked the provincial police to take care of it.
 
“We are just the informant and we reported it to the provincial police. The van was reported to be carrying shrimp from Vietnam.
 
“The provincial police stopped the vehicle and apprehended four people at the point of O Chambok,” said Mr.  Mondul. While his police had alerted provincial police about the vehicle, he said none of his officers were involved in the case.
 
Local media outlet Fresh News reported on Wednesday that the four people police detained at the scene had been released after the involvement of an unnamed one-star general at the Interior Ministry.
 
District, provincial and national police officials and spokespeople remained tight-lipped yesterday, some claiming to know nothing about the case, others denying it had even taken place.
 
“If there had been such an operation, I would have had that report. But I haven’t heard of it,” said an officer at the provincial police headquarters who declined to give his name.
 
Deputy provincial police chief  Chrey Ben said he had read media reports about the case, but was unaware of any details, while police chief Ouk Samnang hung up on the reporter.

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