Almost RM5mil worth of wildlife, parts seized in raids so far this year

KUALA LUMPUR: Close to RM5mil in wildlife and widlife-related products were seized this year following several raids around the country.

A total of 11 individuals believed to be poachers and smugglers were also detained by Bukit Aman Internal Security and Public Order Department’s Wildlife Crime Bureau (WCB) in a special operation codenamed Ops Khazanah Bersepadu (OBK).

Police secretary Deputy Comm Datuk Noorsiah Mohd Saaduddin said eight raids were conducted between Jan 1 and Feb 16.

“We detained 11 suspects and seized RM4.9mil in wildlife and item related to wildlife.

“Of the eight raids, one operation was recognised by the Global Tiger Forum (international body on protecting tiger habitats), where the WCB seized 69 wildlife products worth RM1.2mil and detained a local suspect in Selangor,” she said in a statement on Sunday (Feb 19).

OBK recorded a total of 23 cases last year, where RM2.6mil worth of wildlife and items were seized, DCP Noorsiah said.

“Among the wildlife rescued were eagles, a blue monkey, a Hill Myna bird, iguanas and foxes.

“One interesting case is where two men – a local and a Vietnamese – were detained in Kelantan for smuggling wildlife via sea. Various wildlife were seized including 59 cages filled with foxes,” she added.

The cases are being investigated under Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 and Section 15(1) of the Immigration Act, she said.

DCP Noorsiah said the WCB is committed to curbing wildlife smuggling and will continue their strategic cooperation with other enforcement agencies and NGOs.

“OBK is also focused on syndicates involved in various illegal activities including illegal logging and mining.

“We always welcome cooperation showed by other agencies in OBK and we fully supports the government’s aim to protect the nation’s wlidlife and other resources,” she said.