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Thursday, 12 June 2014

Wildlife smugglers sing the blues after songbird seizure

KLUANG: The Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) successfully tracked down and seized 241 protected White-Rumped Shama (or commonly called burung murai batu) at an oil palm estate in Kampung Sepakat here.

State Perhilitan director Hasnan Yusop said enforcement officers detained two suspects after they found the songbirds kept in 58 cages.

The cages were found at a premises believed to have been built specifically as a collection centre for the birds.

“After two weeks of collecting intelligence, we raided the premises located in an oil palm plantation near the village on Tuesday.

“We seized not only the birds but also nabbed two Indonesian suspects,” Hasnan said in a statement yesterday.

He said the case was being investigated under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 (Act 716) and both suspects had been remanded to assist in investigations.

If found guilty, they can be slapped with a fine of up to RM50,000 or sentenced to not more than two years imprisonment or both.

“We believe we have successfully clamped down the illegal smuggling of White-Rumped Shama in the state.

“In April, we managed to confiscate some 40 birds of the same species kept illegally in Larkin.

“One suspect was fined RM40,000 for the offence,” he added.

Hasnan believed that the White-Rumped Shama (Copsychus malabaricus), a protected species under the first schedule of the Wildlife Conservation Act, were being smuggled into neighbouring countries.

“We are also tightening security at all entry points in the state to prevent wildlife smuggling,” he said.

Hasnan urged the public to report to the department on any suspicious activity that poses a threat to wildlife conservation.

Tags / Keywords: Courts Crime , kluang , songbird , seized , raid , perhilitan


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