Indonesia: Police seizes 2.5 tons of pangolin meat in Jambi

Antara 10 Nov 16;

Jambi (ANTARA News) - Jambi Police confiscated 2.5 tons of pangolin (Manis javanica) meat and arrested three persons who were suspected of involvement in an attempt to smuggle the protected animal.

"The police are calculating the exact weight of the trafficked goods with the help of experts from Jambis Industry and Trade Office," the spokesperson of Jambi Police, Commissioner Wirmanto, said here on Thursday.

The authority managed to seize 2.5 tons of pangolin meat and 279 kg of pangolin scales believed to be valued at seven billion rupiah in the black market.

Three suspects---YKY, a Malaysian national, and two residents of Jambi, SM (44), and WMA (40)---worked as guards at the warehouse where the animal meat was kept, have been arrested by the police.

Jambi Police, in cooperation with the Jakarta Metro Police, managed to seize the illicit goods from a warehouse in Kilangan Village, Muarabulian Sub-district, Batanghari District, Jambi after it carried out investigations and obtained from information following the arrest of a drug dealer in Jakarta.

As per the investigation, the pangolin meat was going to be sold to Singapore, Taiwan, China and Malaysia.

The Malaysian suspect revealed that the pangolin scales were going to be traded to China where they are used as an ingredient in meth crystal.

The suspects are facing a maximum penalty of five years' imprisonment and a maximum fine of Rp100 million.

Previously, the Jambi Police had foiled an attempt to smuggle 35 live pangolins (Manis javanica) and some Sumatran tiger bones packed in a bag, from Jambi to Medan, North Sumatra.

The racket was caught by the personnel of the Police Sector Office of Telanaipura, Jambi.

The Chief of Jambi Police, Senior Commissioner Bernard Sibarani, had said on Nov 2 that the authorities seized the protected animals from a vehicle, carrying license plate B 3471 AG, during a routine patrolling in Buluran, Telanaipura Sub-district.

The police arrested a resident of West Sumatra Province, identified as SM, as a suspect in the smuggling attempt.

During the investigation, SM disclosed that the illicit goods were to be traded to Medan, North Sumatra.

The police is carrying out investigations to track down the supplier and the owner.

Pangolins are on the brink of extinction, despite the fact that they are protected under the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), and trading in the animal and their products is illegal.

The nocturnal mammals are in high demand because their meat and scales are prized mostly in China and Vietnam as food and medicine.

Pangolins are also included in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008 as endangered animals.(*)

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