JOHOR BARU: Police have crippled a syndicate which had acted as middlemen and traded in protected wildlife animals for medical purposes to foreign countries.
Federal police Internal Security and Public Order Department director Datuk Seri Zulkifli Abdullah said police and Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia (Perhilitan) confiscated body parts of tigers and other protected animals at a total street value of RM1 million in two raids Pasir Gudang, near here, on July 12.
Five local men, aged 29 to 72, were arrested in the raids at two houses in Masai and Johor Jaya.
Zulkifli said all the animals were believed to have originated from Indonesia and police suspect they might have used illegal waterways to smuggle them into Malaysia.
Initial investigation revealed that the syndicate was using Malaysia as a transit point, and planned to smuggle them out to a third country. “We need more details to identify the destination,” he said at the Seri Alam police station here today.
Police believe they have been active in the wildlife trade since 2010.
Also present were Johor police chief Datuk Mohd Khalil Kader Mohd and Johor Wildlife director Jamalun Nasir Ibrahim.
The case will be investigated under Section 68 of the Wildlife Protection Act 2010m which carries a fine of between RM100,000 to RM500,000, and imprisonment not exceeding five years.