Report to Tiger Crime Hotline leads to bust by Wildlife Crime Unit
The 24-hour Tiger Crime Hotline (019 356 4194) was set up by the Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers (MYCAT), to encourage public reporting of possible crimes against tigers and their prey. Public Service Announcements about the hotline started to air on local radio stations Hot FM and FLY FM on the 24 March 2008.
A man who heard the announcements made a report to the hotline on the 27 March 2008. Within 24 hours of receiving the report, the Department of Wildlife and National Parks’ Wildlife Crime Unit raided the premises, seizing frozen meat and skins of Barking Deer, Mousedeer, Malayan Porcupine, all protected species, and some yet-to-be identified meat.
The estimated value of the seized wildlife is RM10,000.
Also found was what appeared to be a home-made shot gun, 84 bullets of various sizes and a whistling device to attract deer. For the possible violations of firearm-related laws, the man was handed over to the police.
For each of the protected species, he will be charged under Section 68 of the Protection of Wild Life Act 1972; and if found guilty, can be fined up to RM3,000 or jailed up to 3 years, or both. This means that for the wildlife offences alone, the maximum penalty he could receive is a RM9,000 fine and a jail term of 9 years.
“Now what is needed is for the judiciary to ensure that if found guilty, he is punished to the full extent of the law,” said Dr Sivananthan Elagupillay, DWNP Law and Enforcement Director. “We need the public to be our eyes and ears to fight the crime against protected wildlife,” he said, adding that the confidentiality of informants is assured, and upon conviction, a cash reward will be provided.
“This is a good example of conservation partnership extending beyond traditional boundaries. We encourage the public to take part in this battle against wildlife crime by sending in more reports to the hotline,” said Dr. Dionysius Sharma, CEO/Executive Director of WWF-Malaysia.
“Tigers will be wiped out in this century if we don’t stop poachers and dealers from killing and trading tigers and their prey species. We need more media partners to publicise the hotline so that the public can help us put poachers behind the bars,” said Dr Kae Kawanishi, MYCAT’s tiger conservation biologist.
Report any suspected crimes involving tigers and their prey (such as deer and wild pig) by sending an SMS to 019 356 4194. The Tiger Crime Hotline is sponsored by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Save the Tiger Fund.
Notes to Editors:
The Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers (MYCAT) is a partnership between the Malaysian Government and NGOs committed to saving the Malayan tiger. MYCAT partners are the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Malaysian Nature Society, TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, the Wildlife Conservation Society and WWF-Malaysia.
For further information, please contact:
Ms Loretta Ann Soosayraj, Coordinator, MYCAT Secretariat’s Office
Tel (Off): +9075 2872 ext 140
Fax : +9075 2873
Mobile: +6012 3100 594
Emails: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com