Indonesia: Navy foils attempt to smuggle pangolins to Malaysia

Rizal Harahap The Jakarta Post 25 Oct 17;

Navy personnel in Dumai, Riau, have foiled an attempt to smuggle 101 pangolins (or manis javanicas) to neighboring Malaysia.

Dumai Navy Commander Col. Yose Aldino said that the protected animals were found on a wooden boat on Bukit Batu waters in Bengkalis regency on Tuesday.

“We received information from the public that there was a boat departing from Sei Pakning engaging in illegal wildlife trade,” he said, adding that his office deployed two boats to foil the smuggling attempt.

Two crew members — identified as AW, 25, and BE, 22, from Bengkalis — were arrested, and dozens of pangolins covered in fishing net were seized as evidence. “If they managed to smuggle the pangolins to Malaysia, they would get Rp 800,000 (US$56) each,” Yose said.

The suspects are not fishermen, he said. “They said they were just minions. They had smuggled pangolins to Malaysia twice before. We are now searching for the mastermind behind the smuggling and where they got the protected animals from.” (ahw)