KOTA BHARU: Kelantan police have seized the carcass of a tiger as well as a black panther and 10 elephant tusks estimated to be worth RM500,000, all of which are believed meant for the wildlife trafficking black market.
Kelantan police chief Shafien Mamat said the seizure through Op Khazanah was carried out at a house in Kampung Bukit Tok Che Dol, near Tanah Merah, at about 7.40am, today.
Police also arrested a 25-year-old male suspect believed to have been involved in the illegal poaching syndicate that has been active for more than a year.
“A team of policemen conducted an inspection at the house which is believed to be used as a store to keep the catch and found the carcasses of a tiger and a black panther without internal organs in the freezer and all the ivory at the premises
“Initial investigations also found that the carcasses of the animals are believed to have been stored since last April. We also estimate that these two animals are adults or more than 10 years old.
“All the seizures were handed over to the Kelantan Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) for further action,” he said at a press conference at the Kelantan contingent police headquarters here today.
Commenting further, Shafien said in the wildlife trafficking black market, the price for a tiger and a black panther is RM300,000 and RM100,000, respectively, while an elephant tusk is estimated to be worth more than RM10,000 depending on its size and weight.
On the syndicate’s modus operandi, Shafien said according to Perhilitan’s investigation, illegal poachers used iron wire snares to trap these protected animal species before shooting them.
The case is being investigated under Section 68 (1) (b) and Section 68 (2) (c) of the Wildlife Conservation Act which provides for fines not exceeding RM100,000 or imprisonment not exceeding three years or both and fines not less than RM100,000 and not exceeding RM500,000 and imprisonment not more than five years respectively, if convicted.