Police Find Banteng Heads at Poacher’s Home

A poacher in Mondolkiri province narrowly escaped arrest on Sunday when police and forestry officials raided his house and found 14 kg of banteng meat and more than five heads belonging to the endangered species of ox, an official said Monday.

Keo Sopheak, deputy chief of the Mondolkiri Protected Forest, said the haul was discovered at the home of Sam Bros, 40, in Pech Chreada district’s Pou Chrei commune, along with 132 pieces of luxury- and first-grade wood, two AK-47 assault rifles, a CKC rifle and a homemade air rifle.

“We spent more than one month searching for a wildlife hunter…with our undercover officers,” he said, explaining that authorities had been searching for the source of banteng meat sold at a local market, where cuts were often wrapped in banana leaves to look like traditional rice cakes.

Mr. Sopheak said that when police and Forestry Administration officials identified the poacher on Sunday, they rushed to his house to arrest him, but he had already fled.

“We will now file a request to the court for an arrest warrant because he is a major wildlife hunter using illegal weapons and also illegally felling trees in the area.”

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