Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Kelantan still notorious for wildlife smuggling

After trailing for SIX hours, a smuggler could easily jump off and ROW a boat across a river and escape! This can only happen in Bolehland!!! Read the story below.

From The Star
Wednesday October 17, 2007
Kelantan still notorious for wildlife smuggling
By IAN MCINTYRE

KOTA BARU: Kelantan continues to be a hotspot for wildlife trafficking despite various efforts to smash syndicates smuggling out protected and exotic species.

The conclusion was reached after an anti-smuggling unit recently thwarted an attempt to smuggle out the carcass of a two-year-old female black panther at the border township of Rantau Panjang, 50km from here.

Wildlife enforcement officials accompanied by the anti-smuggling team trailed a suspected smuggler for six hours last Thursday near the township before intercepting his car at about 5pm.

The suspect abandoned his car, jumped into a boat and rowed through Sungai Golok to reach the Thai side.

A state Wildlife and National Parks Department spokesman confirmed that the panther, worth an estimated RM16,000, was the work of a syndicate and investigations were underway to nab the culprits.

The carcass is currently stored at the department’s office as part of the investigation and it is believed that the protected species was killed in a Kuala Krai forest.

According to Traffic South East Asia (Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network) senior programming officer Chris Shepherd, the porous boundary conditions are ideal grounds for organised smuggling of wildlife, notably leopards, tigers, pangolins and freshwater turtles.

Malaysia as a member of Asean, is increasingly under threat from transboundary smuggling and the resulting effect is dwindling numbers of protected species and exotic animals, Shepherd said.

“The entire region is facing increasing pressure from wildlife smuggling. Enforcement authorities are struggling to keep abreast of the tactics of organised wildlife smugglers.
“What has been detected is only the tip of the iceberg,” he said.

Kelantan is a traditional smugglers den and it is also a top transit route used by wildlife smugglers to send across shipments to Thailand and China where the black panther is destined for the cooking pot.

To make matters worse, Malaysians are increasingly fond of exotic animal meat.
Despite the presence of wildlife conservationist groups such as World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Malaysia) and various campaigns here, the state continues to be notorious for wildlife smuggling.

1 comment:

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