Online ads lead to arrest of illegal wildlife trader in Sabah

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 21 Aug 2016

KOTA KINABALU: An illegal wildlife trader's online marketing strategy led to his arrest when wildlife rangers came upon his advertisements.

The suspect, together with a partner who was found in possession of four sun bear paws and gall bladder believed sourced from at least one poached animal, were nabbed at about 11.45am Saturday.

Sabah Wildlife Department director William Baya said the duo from an interior region in the state were trying to sell the illegal products at the Asia City commercial compound near here.

"They are now being remanded four days to facilitate investigations under Section 41 of the Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997 for possession of protected species, which carries a sentence of a jail term of up to five years or a fine of up to RM50,000 or both," he said.

This is the second case involving sun bears in two weeks, after the arrest of two men for possession of eight sun bear paws and two gall bladders recently.

“In just a matter of less than two weeks we have arrested four men trying to sell suspected body parts of at least three poached sun bears," Baya said.

"This shows that wildlife poaching in Sabah has reached epic proportions and it will spell extinction of not only sun bears but also most of our other wildlife animals if such activities are not curbed," he said.

He added that new roads traversing protected forest reserves and wildlife sanctuaries have severely increased illegal hunting activities throughout Sabah.

"It seems that there is no safe place for wildlife anymore in Sabah" Baya said.

He said the illegal wildlife trade is also seeing a resurgence with the rampant use of social media such as Facebook and Whatsapp.

"We are monitoring these portals closely and we see that the illegal trade is not just confined to people living near forest reserves but also government officers and professionals in urban areas," he said.
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