Customs: More endangered wildlife brought into Malaysia this year

Ribuan (center) speaking to reporters during the press conference while Deputy Inspector General Police Tan Sri Razarudin Husaib (left) and Malaysia Forestry Department director Datuk Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim (right) look on.

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By Christopher Lidom

KUCHING, Dec 8: The Royal Malaysian Customs Department (JKDM) has detected an increase in the number of endangered wildlife being brought into Malaysia from abroad this year through its ‘Operasi Bersepadu Khazanah’ (OBK) 2022.

According to JKDM assistant director (enforcement) Ribuan Abdullah, this include the movement between regions in Malaysia namely Sarawak and Sabah, especially at the airport either through cargo, packages and passengers.

“The movement involves various types of fauna and flora and parts such as turtle body parts, deer skins, decorative trees and even peacock feathers without permits or approval from the relevant authorities to be used as pets and also decorations,” he told a press conference held at a local hotel here today.

Ribuan said JKDM has opened a total of 23 investigation papers with a seizure value of RM73.4 million in 2022 involving various offenses under the Customs Act 1967 and the International Trade in Endangered Species Act 2008.

He added that the department also handed over 15 cases involving transportation of wildlife without approval from and to Sarawak and Sabah to local authorities this year involving commodities of various species of live animals, including snakes, lizards and turtles.

OBK 2022 is led by Malaysia Forest Department and Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) together with JKDM, and various Federal and State agencies namely including NGOs such as Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Pertubuhan Pelindung Alam Malaysia, World Wildlife Fund-Malaysia, Panthera Malaysia and Traffic South East Asia. — DayakDaily