Friday, 19 June 2009

Johor, Pahang Transit To Smuggle Exotic Animals

June 19, 2009 PM Malaysia

Johor, Pahang Transit To Smuggle Exotic Animals

KLUANG, June 19 (Bernama) -- Unscrupulous syndicates are using Johor and Pahang as transit to smuggle exotic animals to a neighbouring country for lucrative gains.

In revealing the modus operandi of the syndicates, Wildlife and National Parks Department's deputy director of laws and enforcement Celescoriano Razond said they would store the exotic animals in several isolated areas in the two states before smuggling them to a neighbouring country via land or water.

He said this in a press conference at the department's district office here Friday.

While Razond refused to reveal the intended neighbouring country where the exotic animals were smuggled into, Bernama learnt it was Thailand.

It is also learnt that once the cargo reached Thailand, it would continue its journey to Laos before making the final destination to China.

The demand for exotic animals in China is very high, especially from restaurants which serve exotic dishes, and from traditional medical practioners.

Earlier, Razond had announced the success of the department's Wildlife Criminal Unit (WCU) in confiscating 11 Malayan Porcupines, an endangered species which is protected under the Protection of Wildlife Act 1972 (Act 76).

According to him, the animals were confined in a special cage when seven WCU officers ambushed the place in an oil palm plantation in Yong Peng yesterday.

"Porcupine meat fetches high price in the illegal market, which could reach between RM80 to RM100 a kilogram and there is a demand for their internal organs for traditional medicine," added Razond.

He said that an internal organ of the porcupine known only as 'porcupine stone' -- which some swear could heal various ailments -- was known to fetch up to RM10,000 among believers.