Seven 'most wanted' poachers nabbed, firearms and animal parts seized

14 Feb 2017 / 10:52 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Seven of the country's most wanted poachers, who are believed to have killed at least 15 elephants for their tusks and meat, were arrested last Friday during a raid by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) at Taman Negara in Gua Musang, Kelantan.
Animal parts worth about RM500,000 and hunting equipment and an assortment of firearms worth RM50,000 were seized.
Perhilitan Peninsula Malaysia director Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim said at a press conference yesterday the department had been after the poachers for six years because their main target were elephants.
Perhilitan officers, in a joint operation with army personnel, detained the poachers, aged between 20 and 50, at 3pm on Friday.
"The poachers also had five shotguns, 110 cartridges, three explosive devices and a sharp weapon with them when they were detained," said Abdul Kadir.
Following the arrests, the department carried out raids at seven locations, four in Gua Musang and three in Tanah Merah.
In the Gua Musang raid, Perhilitan officers seized a number of weapons believed to have been used in illegal activities.
In Tanah Merah, they seized two elephant tusks, barbecued elephant meat, three chainsaws and various other equipment.
Abdul Kadir said his department had also identified several other groups of poachers and is planning to take action against them.
The suspects have been remanded for four days from yesterday and are being investigated under Section 68 of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010.
The poachers, who are from Kelantan, also worked as rubber tappers but became active in hunting elephants due to the profitable nature of the "job".
They are believed to have killed at least 15 elephants in Taman Negara and sold the tusks for between RM1,500 and RM2,000 a kilogramme. The group had also hunted other protected animals such as the serow, sambar deer and the gaur.
The latest arrests comes after a similar operation early last year when 28 poachers were caught in an eight-day operation dubbed "Op Khazanah Negara 2016" that was carried out around the Endau Forest Reserve.
It was reported that between 2010 and 2013, more than 2,241 poachers' traps and 1,728 illegal camp sites were found by NGOs conducting research in forests in the peninsular.

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