Police Raid Villa, Discover Wild Bear and Tortoise

Police on Friday raided a Phnom Penh villa rented by a Chinese national who was illegally keeping a 10-kg bear and a 17-kg tortoise confined in the house, police said Sunday.

The raid was conducted in conjunction with the NGO WildAid, which had received a tip that there were wild animals in the house, according to Kul Sophat, the police chief of Boeng Keng Kang I commune, where the villa was located.

“Police cooperated with WildAid organization to check a villa that was suspected of having illegal wild animals,” he said.

The Chinese man renting the villa and his Cambodian employee were called for questioning by the municipal court, but were released after paying an unspecified fine, said deputy prosecutor Hor Lina.

“After questioning, those people were released the same day because they were fined some money according to the law,” he said. “We did not charge anyone.”

He declined to identify the two men, but said that the bear is currently being cared for by Free the Bears at the Phnom Tamao Rescue Center.

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