Forty-nine pythons, weighing from 20 to 30 kilograms each, were released into Koh Kong’s Stung Proat river on Saturday after being confiscated from a businessman in Kandal province’s Koh Thom district, an officer from Wildlife Alliance said yesterday.
“We were asked by provincial police to take the snakes from them on Friday,” he told the Post.
He added that he was informed by police that the suspect was a police officer who worked at the Cambodian-Vietnamese border checkpoint in Koh Thom district. His SUV was also confiscated, but he was later released by police after his arrest and questioning.
Iv Chamroeun, chief of the Kandal Police, contradicted that version of events, saying that the suspect had not been released but, in fact, escaped. He added that the 404 kilograms of pythons were confiscated on Thursday at about 3:30 pm at a police checkpoint located in Koh Thom district’s Sampao Puon commune, while the suspect was trying to export them for sale in Vietnam.
“The suspect escaped after he was cracked down on by police. We now are searching for his arrest in order to bring him to the justice,” he said.