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Thursday December 5, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Thursday December 5, 2013 MYT 6:59:00 AM
PETALING JAYA: Utility bills linking the wife of convicted wildlife trafficker Anson Wong to a company which exports reptiles have raised concerns among several members of parliament that the Lizard King could be still operating with impunity.
Padang Serai MP N. Surendran and Serdang MP Dr Ong Kian Ming have produced water and electricity bills for Rona Wildlife in Penang, whose accounts are under the name of Cheah Bing Shee.
Surendran said although Wong and Cheah had had their licenses revoked, they were still involved in the illicit trade through the company at Jalan Tanjung Tokong, George Town.
He said the fresh evidence corroborated that of the Al Jazeera documentary where a foreign worker at Rona Wildlife had said his boss was Anson.
Wong was convicted and imprisoned for 71 months in the United States after pleading guilty to trafficking in endangered reptiles in 2001.
Surendran said there was no way the couple could have continued to operate without the complicity of the authorities.
“How could he and his wife continue to operate this way in our country?” he asked.
The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, in a statement on Nov 29, had said that Wong was not listed as the owner, shareholder or board member of Rona Wildlife.
It also stated the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) had revoked all trading licences issued to Wong and his wife in September 2010.
This followed his arrest and conviction for attempting to smuggle snakes in his luggage from Penang to Jakarta.
Wong was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, but this was reduced to 17 months on appeal.
He was released in February 2012.
Ong said despite massive powers to search and seize under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010, Perhilitan failed to connect the dots between Anson and Rona, which was registered on Dec 14, 2010.
“Surely there is more than enough evidence to warrant a raid.
“The Government has all the resources to track down and arrest Wong,” he added.
A Perhilitan official said they would investigate the fresh claims made by the MPs.
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Courts & Crime, Lizard King operating with impunity
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