Kin Phea, director of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said Cambodian officials should not be the ones held responsible. Should these alleged crimes really have occurred, the companies involving in exporting and importing the animals are the ones that ought to be held accountable.
“In this case, there should be close cooperation between the two governments. A review should be conducted to ascertain whether any crimes really took place. The companies involved should be held accountable. It is them that should be facing charges or arrest, should a crime have taken place.
“An official who was merely transiting through the US should not have been arrested for alleged participation in the illegal wildlife trade. It is not officials who make these trades, but companies,” he added.
He said if the arrest was made due to a misunderstanding, it could have a negative effect on the bilateral relationship between the two countries.
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