Impunity for Cambodia’s exotic pet owners as trade outpaces legislation

High-profile interventions by Cambodia’s former leader and weak legislation have allowed the illegal wildlife trade to persist largely in the open.

On the outskirts of the western Cambodian city of Pursat, some 180 kilometers, or 110 miles, north of Phnom Penh, tourists and travelers stream out of minivans parked in the forecourt of a PTT gas station. The Cambodian subsidiary of Thailand’s state-owned oil and gas conglomerate, PTT stands out as one of the country’s more modern gas station chains, sporting retail outlets popular in Thailand such as Café Amazon and 7-Eleven.

But the PTT in Pursat’s Prey Nhy commune boasts a number of unique Thai imports that draw more attention than the markedly clean toilets.

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