Smuggler With 367 Kg of Reptiles Flees Police

Customs officials in Kandal province chased down a supermini car filled with 367 kg of live tortoises, pythons and assorted jungle snakes on Wednesday, an official said on Thursday.

Officials at the Chrey Thom International Checkpoint on the Vietnamese border in Koh Thom district learned that a smuggler would attempt to cross the border with the reptiles on Wednesday night, said Muong Dara, the checkpoint’s customs chief.

After waiting for about an hour, a Nissan March came trundling down the road and the driver, spotting the customs agents, attempted to speed past, Mr. Dara said.

The officers gave chase and cut the vehicle off after 600 meters, at which point the driver fled on foot, he said.

“We didn’t chase him because we had the car’s license plate,” allowing investigators to identify the owner, Mr. Dara said.

The driver is believed to be Cambodian.

The tortoises and snakes were sent to the NGO Wildlife Alliance, which typically releases such reptiles back into the wild or finds other homes for them.

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