Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Judicial officers, WCS tackle wildlife trade

Judicial officers, WCS tackle wildlife trade

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Early last year, UK-based anti-wildlife trade NGO Traffic reported that Cambodia had seized 17,000kg of elephant ivory from 2009 to 2018, including more than 3.2 tonnes of ivory imported from Mozambique. Photo supplied

Judicial officers, WCS tackle wildlife trade

The Ministry of Justice and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS-Cambodia) held a workshop to share knowledge of legal procedures relating to elephant tusk and rhino horn trafficking. The workshop was held on February 9 with judges, prosecutors and wildlife experts in attendance.

The workshop served as a forum for participants to discuss their experiences combating the black market ivory trade and methods for investigating and solving cases related to transnational wildlife crime, according to WCS-Cambodia.

Justice ministry secretary of state Keng Somarith told The Post on February 10 that Cambodia is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

As a CITES member, Cambodia must strictly enforce national laws against all illegal wildlife trades and particularly against the trade of elephant ivory and rhino horn, Somarith said.

“We invited our judges and prosecutors to receive training from international experts about the experiences and practices of other countries of cracking down on the illegal wildlife trade,” he said.

WCS-Cambodia country director Ken Serey Rotha said the Kingdom is a transhipping country for the illegal wildlife trade though the destination countries for the contraband are typically wealthier ones, primarily China.

He said that to effectively follow CITES, court officials need to be knowledgeable about these crimes and have insight into which procedures are most effective to stop them.

“Another implication is that if these crimes are allowed to happen in Cambodia because of loosely enforced laws, it is basically an invitation for other criminals to come and operate here.

“But the direct impact of failing to crack down on wildlife crimes is a loss of dignity and respect from the international community.

“That respect is hard to earn, but easy to lose. Our leaders have been working to build Cambodia’s reputation as a reliable and responsible partner for many years,” he said.

Early last year, UK-based anti-wildlife trade NGO Traffic reported that Cambodia had seized 17,000kg of elephant ivory from 2009 to 2018, including more than 3.2 tonnes of ivory imported from Mozambique.

More recently, in December 2019, a total of 280 lion bones were seized at Phnom Penh International Airport.


  • 12th Cambodia int’l film festival to see return of Hollywood star

    Phnom Penh is set to come alive with the magic of cinema as the highly anticipated 12th Cambodia International Film Festival (CIFF) takes centre stage. Boasting an impressive line-up of 188 films from 23 countries, including captivating shorts, feature films, documentaries and animation, the festival promises an

  • Brawl marrs football final as Indonesian take gold in seven goal thriller

    The Indonesian men's U22 men national football team were crowned champions of the 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia, defeating Thailand 5-2 in extra time on May 16 at Olympic National Stadium in Phnom Penh. The match was marred by an ugly incident that occured in the 91

  • Bareknuckle champion wants Kun Khmer fighter

    Dave Leduc, who is the current openweight Lethwei boxing champion in Myanmar, has announced that he will travel to Cambodia this year to challenge SEA Games gold medallist Prum Samnang any time that is convenient, after their planned match later this month in Slovakia was

  • Candlelight Party disqualified from July general election

    The National Election Committee (NEC) has disqualified the Candlelight Party (CP) from contesting the upcoming general election, citing a lack of valid documentation. NEC spokesman Khorn Keomono said the CP failed to fulfil one of the three main requirements: including original documentation proving their registration

  • Thong Khon calls for orderly SEA Games closing ceremony

    Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism and permanent vice-president of the Cambodia SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC), calls on all people who have received tickets to the May 17 closing ceremony of the biennial multi-sports extravaganza at the Morodok Techo National Stadium to ensure that the event

  • 1.4 billion dollar Phnom Penh-Bavet expressway due in four years

    The Government, through the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, has officially signed a public-private partnership agreement with a private company for the construction of a Phnom Penh-Bavet Expressway project that will connect the capital to Svay Rieng province. The budget for the project is