The Ministry of Environment has issued letters to the owners of 27 souvenir shops in Phnom Penh suspected of trading in ivory and other wildlife-related goods.
The letter issues a requirement for immediate termination of such sales, which are in violation of the law.
A Secretary of State and Ministry of Environment spokesman, on September 13, 2019, stating that so far, the Ministry of Environment has informed business owners selling souvenirs in the capital. There also are other suspected traders operating in Siem Reap and Sihanoukville .
If the business owners keep or sell ivory and other banned wildlife goods, they should hand it over to the authorities and if the police detect and seize it, they will take action against the perpetrators, according to Secretary of Environment Neth Pheaktra.
According to the Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, trading of ivory or any other wildlife-related art is illegal under Article 97 (Article 10) and the Law on Protected Areas under Article 59 (Item 5), who, if found guilty, will face a heavy fine and a possible prison sentence.
HE Neth Pheaktra said: “Cambodia, as a member of the United Nations, is ready to cooperate internationally with all countries in the conservation of natural resources and prevent the illegal wildlife trade. Cambodia has been actively involved in the fight against the illegal wildlife trade, and it has also cooperated as an international partner in the prevention and suppression of the illegal wildlife trade worldwide.”
He added that the Royal Government of Cambodia has a strong commitment to fight the illegal wildlife trade.
It should be highlighted that in the past, Cambodian authorities have seized ivory imported into Cambodia for later export. According to figures obtained from 2016 to the end of 2018, more than 5 tons of ivory and wildlife products were seized. Although some in the international community wanted the products destroyed, it is being used for scientific research. Currently, ivory and along with other rare animal specimens, is being kept in a safe place. NKD