By Taing Vida, The Khmer Times
The Environment Ministry today called on all souvenir shop owners to immediately stop selling sculptures made of elephant ivory, and rhino horns, noting that wildlife trades in any forms are prohibited.
According to the law on forestry and law on protected areas, selling, importing or exporting ivory or rhino horns is strictly prohibited.
In a statement dated August 30, the ministry said souvenir shop owners must hand over all items made of elephant ivories and rhino horns, which were already placed in their stores to the authorities in a timely manner, or else they will encounter legal actions.
The ministry spokesman Neth Pheaktra said the ministry had already directly informed 32 souvenir shop owners in Siem Reap and Sihanoukville provinces and the ministry will soon meet with souvenir shop owners in other provinces and in Phnom Penh.
Mr Pheakra noted that police have recently discovered that some souvenir shops are openly selling banned ivory and rhino horn sculptures.
“Those who involved in selling, importing and exporting these banned goods will face imprisonment and classified as a crime under the law on anti-money laundering and terrorism financing,” he said.
According to figures obtained from 2016 to the end of 2018, Cambodian authorities seized thousands of ivory and rhino horns weighing more than five tons. In addition, there were rattlesnakes and other wildlife boners that were seized.
In February 2017, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that Cambodia will keep confiscated ivory, rhino horns and other confiscated goods to show in an exhibition and Cambodia will not burn or destroy the items.