Malaysia: We will go all out and nab wildlife smugglers -- Perhilitan

SIMON KHOO The Star 14 Jan 16;

KUALA LIPIS: The Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) has two words of advice for wildlife smugglers – cease and desist.

In issuing this stern reminder, Perhilitan enforcement division director Hasnan Yusop said his officers had pledged to go all out to track down and nab such offenders.

Hasnan said Perhilitan took a serious view in matters pertaining to capturing, keeping, smuggling and trading in wildlife and protected species.

“We will step up our efforts to put a stop to these illegal activities in line with our duties and responsibilities to safeguard protected species of wildlife.

“This is one of our resolutions for this year and we will not back down or be intimidated,” he told StarMetro.

To mean business, Perhilitan scored its first success this year by crippling a syndicate specialising in smuggling exotic and protected species of birds.

Three syndicate members, believed to be smugglers and wildlife traders, aged between 20 and 50, were detained during the raid at a house in Kampung Tanjung Gahai, Bukit Betong near here.

Eighty-seven magpies hidden in eight makeshift plastic cages were seized by personnel from the Wildlife Crime Unit, in addition to several other birds and fowls.

The magpies were destined to be smuggled to a neighbouring country via Johor in a car when Perhilitan officers ambushed and nabbed the suspects red-handed.

All three will be investigated under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010, which carries a fine of up to RM100,000 or a jail term up to three years, or both.

Records showed that from 2011 to last year, a total of 4,167 species of magpies were seized from smugglers, involving 179 cases.

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