Three Arrested for Smuggling Snakehead Fish From Border

Three men were arrested in Kompong Chhnang province on Sunday for illegally transporting 600,000 recently hatched snakehead fish they had picked up at the Vietnamese border, police said.

Khuon Saorom, deputy governor of the province’s Boribor district, said provincial military police stopped the three men on National Road 5 in Trapaing Chan commune and found the snakehead fry in their two cars.

District military police commander Kith Kunthea said the men were arrested at the scene at about 12:45 a.m. and that 600,000 snakehead fry were seized.

“The military police took action to stop and arrest the suspects and we sent them to the [Fisheries] Administration so that they can continue to investigate,” he said.

Provincial military police commander Serm Sery said that Ros Kimsrun, Chea Phanith, and Sieng Chantha, who are all 33 and from Takeo province’s Kiri Vong district, were sent to the Fisheries Administration’s headquarters in Kompong Chhnang at 4 a.m. Sunday.

He said the suspects had picked up the fish at the Phnom Den border checkpoint in Takeo.

“Based on their confession, they just work for other people to transport the small fish,” he said. “We are seeking the arrest of their bosses. If the Fisheries Administration wants to take more legal action, we will cooperate with them.”

Fisheries officials in Kompong Chhnang could not be reached Sunday.

Snakehead farms were banned by the Agriculture Ministry in 2005 because the species’ appetite makes it a threat to freshwater fish stocks.

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