Raids net wanted poacher and hundreds of wildlife parts in Malaysia
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, 17th July 2020—with a series of arrests and seizures that netted over 200 protected wildlife parts, Malaysian authorities have sent poachers a stern warning that they are still being watched even while the national focus is on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
In four operations between 7th July to 13th July the Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia (Perhilitan) arrested seven people and seized at least 215 wildlife parts, 12 kg of wild meat and five whole animals.
Some of the wildlife parts seized belonged to tigers, sun bears, and pangolins which are totally protected under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010.
Parts of freshwater turtles, monitor lizards and wild boars also turned up in the seizures which took place in four different locations in Peninsular Malaysia.
Six wire snares, two shot guns and other hunting tools were found in the possession of four locals, two Cambodians and a Vietnamese arrested in connection with the four cases. The cases are being investigated under wildlife, forestry and firearms laws.
Among the seven arrested was a highly wanted local hunter described as “very actively involved in the hunting of elephants, tigers and other wildlife species”, Perhilitan Director-General Dato’ Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim said in a statement published yesterday (16th July).
Perhilitan believes that the successful arrest of this person will help solve several elephant poaching incidents that have occurred over the past three years. Perhilitan has previously busted elephant poaching gangs in 2017 and 2018.
These enforcement actions were part of Ops Bersepadu Khazanah, a multi-agency co-operation jointly led by the Royal Malaysian Police Force and Perhilitan which was set in motion to tackle Malaysia’s wildlife poaching and trafficking crisis. It also includes several other enforcement agencies, wildlife authorities in the Bornean states of Sabah and Sarawak, and co-operation with several conservation organisations.
To date, 50 Malaysians and 22 foreign nationals have been arrested for illegal hunting and trade related offences under these operations.
In a statement to press, Abdul Kadir warned those hunting wildlife illegally to stop their activities or face serious legal action.
These cases show that Malaysia’s wildlife is still targeted by both local and foreign poachers, who are very often after highly endangered species. It makes enforcement actions like this all the more crucial.
Elizabeth John, TRAFFIC Senior Communications Officer
“This commitment to fighting wildlife crime is commendable. We urge that the offenders are prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Weeding out individuals along the trafficking chain is so critical to making a lasting impact.” said John.