Two charged with attempted smuggling of ‘gaharu’

The suspects (centre) being produced in court.

KUCHING, August 29: Two men, a local and an Indonesian, have been charged at the Session Court here today for attempting to smuggle 1,750 gramme of agarwood (‘gaharu’) cross border without permit.

The duo, aged 33 and 55, were suspected to have taken the ‘gaharu’ around Tubih, Serian, at around 3pm on Aug 24, before they were caught on their way to the Indonesian border of West Kalimantan through Kpg Mongkos.

It is understood that the ‘gaharu’ was to have be handed to a buyer in Indonesia for RM3,000.

A team of General Operations Force (GOF) 11th Batallion personnel apprehended the suspects around 5.30pm before they were handed to the state Forest Department for investigation under Section 30 (2) of the Wild Life Protection Ordinance 1998.

Deputy public prosecutor Evy Liana Atang handled the case with assistance from legal officer Ma Xiang Ru of the state Attorney-General’s Office.

Meanwhile, state Forestry director Hamden Mohammad expressed his gratitude to the police and GOF for their part in the arrest.

He gave warning that the department will not hesitate to take drastic action against those violating the Wild Life Protection Ordinance 1998, Forest Ordinance 2015, as well as the National Park and Nature Reserves Ordinance 1998 to safeguard nature’s sustainability in the state. — DayakDaily