The land of heroes
Our heroes
Our land
Cambodia Kingdom

Thursday, December 03, 2009

2 tons of snakes, tortoises seized in Cambodia

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) - Cambodian police confiscated two tons of live snakes and tortoises and arrested two men trying to smuggle the slithering cargo up a river from Cambodia to Vietnam, authorities said Thursday.

Acting on a tip, police intercepted the boat Wednesday on the Bassac River in southeastern Cambodia just before it crossed into Vietnam. They found 3,640 pounds (1,655 kilograms) of snakes, mostly pythons, and 263 tortoises that weighed a combined 697 pounds (317 kilograms), said Col. Chan Savouen, deputy police chief of Kandal province.

"Snakes and tortoises are rare reptiles in our country and are strongly prohibited from being hunted and trafficked," he said.

Police arrested two Cambodians, aged 17 and 20, who said they were hired to transport the cargo but did not know the identities of their employers. They said some of the reptiles had been illegally hunted in Cambodia and others were trafficked from neighboring Thailand, Chan Savouen said.

The snakes and tortoises were released into the wild on Wednesday, he said.

Vietnam is often used as a transit point for trafficking illegal wildlife from Southeast Asia to China to feed its market for exotic pets and foods.

No comments: