By Saing Soenthrith
Customs officials over the weekend said they will shed no further light on Friday’s massive haul of three tons of illegal elephant ivory at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port—Cambodia’s biggest-ever ivory seizure—until investigations are complete and a case can be sent to court.
A scan on containers that were supposed to be carrying beans from Malaysia led to the discovery on Friday of more than 100 boxes of five or more elephant tusks—proof, police said, that Cambodia is a major transit route in the illegal ivory trade following two seizures earlier this year.
Bun Choeum, the port’s deputy customs chief, said Sunday that the ivory has not yet been moved from the shipyard, but said he could not discuss where the ivory came from, its intended destination or who was behind the smuggling operation.
“[This\ is still being kept secret from the public until customs officials have finished investigating and sent the case to the court,” Mr. Choeum said.
Shipping records showed that the containers were consigned by Olair Worldwide Logistics shipping company, which has office listings in Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville.