Authorities in Mondolkiri province arrested three men Wednesday morning after discovering nearly 150 kg of illegal bushmeat in the vehicle they were driving, a forestry official said.
Meak Vuthy, chief of the Seima Biodiversity Conservation Area in Keo Seima district, said officials under his command grew suspicious after the suspects’ Toyota Camry drove past their checkpoint a number of times.
“We stopped it…and found 149 kg of illegal wild meat hidden in back,” Mr. Vuthy said, adding that officials believed the haul consisted of two Sambar deer, which are classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Mr. Vuthy identified the suspects as San Sarum, 33; Ngeu Bang, 25; and Khav Phoeun, 29, and said they had claimed that a fourth man—whose name they claimed not to know—had convinced them to join a hunt for the first time.
“Now, the [three] suspects are at my office and tomorrow we will send them to the provincial court,” Mr. Vuthy said.
Under Forestry Law, the four face up to five years in prison and fines up to about $24,500 for hunting inside a conservation area.