PUTRAJAYA: The Kuala Terengganu sessions court’s decision to fine RM1.56 million each on two Vietnamese poachers has been the highest amount so far for wildlife crimes in the country’s history, according to Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar.
Commenting on the court’s decision on Wednesday which also sentenced each of the poachers to a two-year prison term, Dr Xavier, who welcomed the decision, said it opened new hope in the ministry’s efforts in combating crime against wildlife.
The ministry will continue to intensify efforts to combat wildlife crimes and elements that bring destruction to wildlife and natural resources in Malaysia, especially poaching endangered animals, he said.
“Poachers are traitors of a country and we have no place for them in Malaysia,“ he said in a statement today.
He hoped the punishment of the two Vietnamese would be a deterrent to those who had malicious intentions to destroy wildlife just for their own gains.
Both the Vietnamese nationals pleaded guilty to 20 charges under four sections of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 for possession of traps and protected wildlife.
They were detained during the ‘Ops Belang’ exercise in Taman Negara, Terengganu on April 15. - Bernama