Animal Traders Held by Police

Police will file a complaint in Phnom Penh Municipal Court today against a suspected wildlife trafficker arrested Saturday. Sa­muth Vanna, chief of the serious crimes unit at Chamkarmon district police station, said Tues­day.

Ly Huot, 67, was arrested after allegedly selling two sun bears and three tigers to undercover agents working for the Forest Cri­mes Monitoring Unit.

Ly Huot was questioned and released later Saturday, Samuth Vanna said. A second suspect, Ly Nguon Hour, was also questioned and released and will not be charged, he said.

Two other suspected traffickers arrested near Wat Phnom Thursday are being held at Police Head­quarters in Tuol Kok while the court investigates their case, Municipal Court Prosecutor Nget Sareth said Monday.

The two suspects, Ku Sophea, 32, and Mean Von, 45, alleged they were hired to buy the tigers by Nhim Vanda, a member of the National Assembly who owns two private zoos. Repeated at­tempts to reach Nhim Vanda have failed.

Last week’s sting operations, the first of their kind in Cam­bodia, netted a total of seven tigers and two sun bears.

Police also returned $2,100 to the FCMU, which the agents working the sting paid Ly Huot on Saturday. The money had gone missing at the scene, but police were later able to recover it, Samuth Vanna said.



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