Saturday, February 11, 2012

Tiger skins and elephant tusks seized

February 11, 2012

PETALING JAYA: Tiger skins and elephant ivory tusks were among wildlife parts seized by the Wildlife and Natural Parks Department (Perhilitan) in a successful bust.

A team of 12 Perhilitan officers from Kedah raided two houses in Mukim Tokai, Pendang, and Kota Sarang Semut, Kota Setar at around 3.15am yesterday.

The team seized eight tiger skins, nine elephant ivory tusks, 22 plastic bags suspected to be filled with wildlife bones and a tusk suspected to be from a barking deer.

“The seized items were taken from an unnumbered house in Lot 30, Kampung Sungai Dedap, Kota Sarang Semut in Kota Setar,” Perhilitan said in a statement.

It warned that the act of keeping wildlife parts was illegal and offenders could be prosecuted under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010.

“Owning tiger skins, elephant ivory tusks and wildlife bones without a permit is illegal and offenders can be fined up to RM100,000, jailed up to three years or both for each offence,” it said.

Perhilitan said a male suspect had been detained and remanded at the Kota Setar police station for further investigation.

Wildlife trade monitoring network Traffic hailed the bust as very significant.

“It is shocking to learn he had in his possession all these parts from protected animals.

“Further investigation to determine where these items were obtained from and who else was involved is crucial,” said Traffic South-East Asia senior programme officer Kanitha Krishnasamy.

She said the arrest of this individual with nine ivory pieces was an excellent opportunity for intelligence-led investigations to crack down on the illegal ivory trade.

Malaysia has seized more than six tonnes of ivory worth millions of ringgit in the last seven months, most of which were transshipped.

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