Malaysia: Crocodile myth boosting illegal trade

Compiled by RAHIMY RAHIM, NG SI HOOI and R. ARAVINTHAN The Star 12 Jun 17;

THE myth that crocodile parts boast aphrodisiac qualities has led to the illegal trading of the reptile, with some being sold for up to RM100,000 on the black market, Metro Ahad reported.

Based on an investigation by the Peninsular Malaysia Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan), the current price of a crocodile is far more expensive than a tiger, as its scaly skin, meat, tail and even its gall bladder can be sold at lucrative prices.

Many still believe that crocodile teeth can be used as a good luck charm while its private parts can be an aphrodisiac, which makes the parts popular. In its latest operation, Perhilitan raided a place at Old Klang Road that traded crocodile organs.

During the raid, the team led by enforcement officer Celescoriano Razond found that the owner of the premises kept various crocodile organs believed to be acquired illegally.

“We confiscated six crocodile skulls and 24 completely preserved saltwater crocodiles. We also found a piece of crocodile skin, crocodile leather belt, and 10 handbags believed to be made from crocodile skin,” he said.

A total of 693 plastic bags of saltwater crocodile meat, 79 plastic bags of crocodile feet, eight bags of crocodile tail, and 190 plastic bags of dried crocodile meat were confiscated.

Apart from that, 24 gall bladders, 37 crocodile private parts, 350 crocodile teeth, and 12 keychains believed to made from saltwater crocodiles skin were also seized.

All of the items would be taken to the Perhilitan headquarters for further action, said Razond.

“We do not rule out the possibility that the items would have been smuggled to Hong Kong, Taiwan or China,” he said.