Multi-agency crackdown on wildlife trafficking (Kota Kinabalu)

S
stenews
Fri, Aug 5, 2022 7:13 PM

Multi-agency crackdown on wildlife trafficking (Kota Kinabalu)
The Star
August 5, 2022

Customs officers have seized various species of wildlife valued at some
RM112mil under the integrated multi-agency crackdown Ops Bersepadu Khazanah
(OBK) between 2019 and 2021.

Customs director-general Datuk Zazuli Johan said his personnel also rescued
an assortment of animals in this period.

One of them involved the rescuing of 4,500 Murai songbirds from a coastal
village in Johor that were meant to be exported illegally to the Indonesian
black market.

“Another was the saving of more than 6,000 tortoises of various species
that were brought in by a passenger through the Kuala Lumpur International
Airport,” he said after attending the OBK meeting here yesterday.

He added that these tortoises were mostly intended to be sold on the black
market in China.

“On July 12 this year, we also seized elephant tusks, rhino horns and
pangolin scales, among other items, that were worth some RM80mil after
physical checks on large containers,” Zazuli said.

“We managed to detect these items using scanners supplied by the Finance
Ministry,” he added.

He was referring to the six new scanners placed at Port Klang, which were
equipped with artificial intelligence technology.

He said the department had also handed over 65 tonnes of red sanders wood
and six tonnes of pangolin scales they seized from their operations to the
relevant authorities to be destroyed.

Meanwhile, Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan)
director-general Datuk Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim said 212 investigation papers
have been opened under the OBK since it was launched on Sept 3, 2019.

The investigations involved offences related to wildlife, forestry,
immigration and illegal possession of firearms, among others.

“This involved 399 offenders. A total of 1,650 traps were also destroyed at
the same time,” he said.

He said as for this year, 31 investigation papers in connection with
various offences were launched under the OBK, involving 53 offenders.

He said 50 of these were Malaysians while the rest were Indonesians, adding
that items worth more than RM3.9mil have been seized so far.

Towards this end, Abdul Kadir said their department was committed to
ensuring the country’s natural heritage, especially wildlife, was protected
through enforcement of the Wildlife Conservation Act (Amendment) 2021 (Act
761).

The main criteria that were improved, he said, were to increase the maximum
penalty from RM500,000 to RM1mil and the jail sentence from 10 to 15 years
as a deterrent for crimes against wildlife.

“Besides that, there is also a new provision that enables action to be
taken against individuals for advertising the sale of wildlife online,” he
said.

https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2022/08/05/multi-agency-crackdown-on-wildlife-trafficking

Multi-agency crackdown on wildlife trafficking (Kota Kinabalu) The Star August 5, 2022 Customs officers have seized various species of wildlife valued at some RM112mil under the integrated multi-agency crackdown Ops Bersepadu Khazanah (OBK) between 2019 and 2021. Customs director-general Datuk Zazuli Johan said his personnel also rescued an assortment of animals in this period. One of them involved the rescuing of 4,500 Murai songbirds from a coastal village in Johor that were meant to be exported illegally to the Indonesian black market. “Another was the saving of more than 6,000 tortoises of various species that were brought in by a passenger through the Kuala Lumpur International Airport,” he said after attending the OBK meeting here yesterday. He added that these tortoises were mostly intended to be sold on the black market in China. “On July 12 this year, we also seized elephant tusks, rhino horns and pangolin scales, among other items, that were worth some RM80mil after physical checks on large containers,” Zazuli said. “We managed to detect these items using scanners supplied by the Finance Ministry,” he added. He was referring to the six new scanners placed at Port Klang, which were equipped with artificial intelligence technology. He said the department had also handed over 65 tonnes of red sanders wood and six tonnes of pangolin scales they seized from their operations to the relevant authorities to be destroyed. Meanwhile, Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) director-general Datuk Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim said 212 investigation papers have been opened under the OBK since it was launched on Sept 3, 2019. The investigations involved offences related to wildlife, forestry, immigration and illegal possession of firearms, among others. “This involved 399 offenders. A total of 1,650 traps were also destroyed at the same time,” he said. He said as for this year, 31 investigation papers in connection with various offences were launched under the OBK, involving 53 offenders. He said 50 of these were Malaysians while the rest were Indonesians, adding that items worth more than RM3.9mil have been seized so far. Towards this end, Abdul Kadir said their department was committed to ensuring the country’s natural heritage, especially wildlife, was protected through enforcement of the Wildlife Conservation Act (Amendment) 2021 (Act 761). The main criteria that were improved, he said, were to increase the maximum penalty from RM500,000 to RM1mil and the jail sentence from 10 to 15 years as a deterrent for crimes against wildlife. “Besides that, there is also a new provision that enables action to be taken against individuals for advertising the sale of wildlife online,” he said. https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2022/08/05/multi-agency-crackdown-on-wildlife-trafficking