Authorities out to protect wildlife

  • Metro News
  • Monday, 03 Feb 2020

Enforcement officers stopping an attempt to smuggle songbirds at the Tebedu border crossing in southern Sarawak.

MIRI: Trappers who capture wildlife to be sold to wildlife traders are liable to be sentenced as severely as the sellers.

Sarawak Forestry Corporation chief executive officer Zolkipli Mohamad Aton said no leniency would be shown, not even to those who claim to only trap the animals and not sell them.

“Those who trap wildlife are considered involved in the wildlife trade. We will arrest them too,” he said.

Zolkipli was commenting on the case of an Indonesian woman working in Sarawak, who was fined RM115,600 for trapping and then trying to smuggle rare songbirds into Kalimantan province in Indonesia from Sarawak.

Busideh, 39, was ordered to serve an 18-month jail sentence when she could not pay the fine.

Kuching Sessions Court judge Afidah Abdul Rahman imposed the sentence on the accused after she pleaded guilty to smuggling 1,060 songbirds of the white-ramp shama and oriental magpie robin species.

The trapper’s attempt on Jan 6 to smuggle rare birds from Sarawak into Kalimantan at the Tebedu border in southern Sarawak was successfully stopped in a raid.

The woman was arrested and wild birds were rescued in the raid by Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC), General Operations Force and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

She claimed that she only trapped the birds here and was trying to bring them over to Kalimantan because a man had asked her to do so.

Zolkipli warned that the authorities were very serious about putting a stop to the hunting, trapping, capturing, selling, buying, killing, abuse and possession of wildlife in Sarawak.

The jail term for the woman showed that the court would punish all who violate wildlife laws in Sarawak, he said.

Anyone with information on such cases can contact the SFC hotlines in the various districts.

The SFC hotlines are 016-856 5564/019-885 9996 (Kuching), 019-888 3561 (Sibu), 019-822 3449/019-833 2737 (Bintulu), 019-829 0994/018-979 9778 (Miri).
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