Tiger cub among menagerie of animals seized in Malaysia enforcement operations
Putrajaya, Malaysia, 20th October 2016—In a string of five raids yesterday, the Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia (PERHILITAN) seized 32 wild animals including a Tiger cub and arrested 5 people including one buyer.
Authorities also seized, amongst others, a Leopard Cat Prionailurus bengalensis, a Black Pond Turtle Geoclemys hamiltonii, a Binturong Arctictis binturong and a Salmon-crested Cockatoo Cacatua moluccensis.
Over 30 PERHILITAN officers were involved in the simultaneous raids in the States of Kedah, Selangor and Kelantan. Three of the raids took place at a private residence while the other two took place at pet shops.
All the individuals arrested were reported to have a connection through Facebook pages, where many of these wildlife were advertised for sale.
“This has been a good year for PERHILITAN’s law enforcement team. We hope that this streak carries on and more wildlife criminals can be put behind bars,” said Kanitha Krishnasamy, Senior Programme Manager for TRAFFIC in Southeast Asia.
“This case exemplifies the type of investigations that can lead to successful enforcement action, involving traders, middlemen and buyers. We also hope that the arrest of a buyer in this case cautions other would-be consumers—the law makes no exception for the uninformed,” said Krishnasamy.
At least 59 other individuals have been arrested over 48 operations since 2014 as part of PERHILITAN’s Operation Taring I, II and III that focus on illegal wildlife trade online, Malaysia’s Environment and Natural Resources Minister Dato Sri Dr. Haji Wan Junaidi bin Tuanku Jaafar told a press conference today.
The Minister said these cases showed that some Malaysians had the money to buy more exotic animals as pets. He said Malaysians had developed a taste for luxury and this was driving the demand for wildlife as pets. Wan Junaidi went on to warn the public that there would be no escape from the law for those who traded protected wildlife online.
He said the Ministry was considering the introduction of tougher penalties including minimum sentences and mandatory jail for certain offences under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010, to show the seriousness of wildlife crimes.