Indonesia: W. Kalimantan authorities foil attempt to smuggle pangolins to China

Severianus Endi The Jakarta Post 27 Oct 16;

Security authorities in West Kalimantan have confiscated 40 scaly anteaters, locally known as trenggiling, from a suspect who attempted to smuggle them to China.

The Pontianak Environment and Forestry Agency’s security and law enforcement office revealed that the anteaters, weighing between 2 and 9.5 kilograms each, or around 200 kilograms in total, had been skinned. They were packed into plastic bags and stored at a cooler facility.

During the raid on Wednesday, authorities also confiscated one living scaly anteater weighing around 2 kilograms and a mouse deer that had been skinned.

The office’s head, David Muhammad, said the smuggling attempt was committed by a wildlife trade syndicate. David said the syndicate was significant because it could collect animals from areas across West Kalimantan and sell them to customers in China either via Jakarta or Sarawak, Malaysia.

“Scaly anteaters sell at high prices because it is believed that their meat can strengthen vitality and the scales are used for raw materials in cosmetics and drugs,” said David on Thursday.

Authorities have named a 34-year-old woman, identified by the initials LN, a suspect, and a man, identified as AB, 50, as a witness.

Scaly anteater meat is usually sold for around Rp 50,000 (US$3.84) per kilogram, and resold to customers abroad for Rp 300,000 per kilogram. For the scales, hunters can sell them for Rp 500,000 per kilogram domestically, and Rp 2 million per kilogram abroad. (ebf)

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