Key Online Wildlife Trade Syndicate Exposed
There were seven arrests made on 27 March 2017, all of whom have been on PERHILITAN’s radar for a while. They are allegedly part of a key online illegal wildlife trade syndicate operating widely through social media networks. Among wildlife seized during the operation include 28 Indian star tortoises, 10 dusky langurs, 6 leopard cats, 3 civets and 2 hill mynas. All suspects are being investigated under Section 60 and 68 of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010.
In a separate incident, on 29 March 2017, PERHILITAN Perak also arrested four men who were found in possession of barking deer carcass and a shotgun. The case is being investigated under Section 60 of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010, which carries a sentence of not more than two years and a fine of up to RM 50,000 (or both). The case is also being investigated under Section 78 of the act, which prohibits hunting during closed seasons. Currently, the sambar and barking deer are protected under a moratorium which lasts till 30 November 2021. If found guilty, this section carries a sentence of not more than one year and a fine of up to RM20,000 (or both). In view of the precarious state of tigers which is likely linked to the decline of prey, WWF-Malaysia calls on highest penalty to be afforded to these criminals if proven guilty.
Poaching for illegal commercial wildlife trade still remains as one of the greatest threats to wildlife conservation in Malaysia. WWF-Malaysia has always advocated the need to have more intelligence-based teams to support special operations, and this operation is a successful example of how such targeted information can enable the authorities in effectively crippling wildlife poaching in our country. Hence, the enforcement work by PERHILITAN is highly commendable.
We echo PERHILITAN’s call for the public to continue being the eyes and ears on the ground. Please report wildlife crimes to PERHILITAN hotline (1-800-88-5151, Monday – Sunday: 8.00am to 6.00pm) or lodge your report via www.wildlife.gov.my
Dato’ Dr Dionysius Sharma
Executive Director / CEO
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For more information, please contact:
Communications Coordinator, Peninsular Malaysia Terrestrial Conservation (PMTC) Programme
Tel: +603-7450 3773