Customs seizes over RM9mil worth of pangolin scales from Africa

  • Nation
  • Monday, 08 May 2017

SEPANG: The Customs Department has seized 712kg of pangolin scales worth approximately RM9.18mil in two raids at the Customs KLIA Cargo warehouse.

Department assistant director-general (enforcement) Datuk Paddy Abd Halim said the scales were seized on May 2 and May 3 respectively.

He said that the Department received an alert on May 1 about an illegal shipment from Accra, Ghana.

"We checked eight gunny sacks at the cargo warehouse and found 408kg of the pangolin scales worth RM5.26mil which were listed as general products," he told a press conference at the KLIA Customs Complex on Monday.

He said on the same day, another similar shipment arrived at the warehouse here from Kinshasa, Congo.

"We checked 10 gunny sacks the next day and found 304kg of the scales worth RM3.92mil.

Paddy said that an investigation revealed that both shipments had fake company listings on the airway bills.

He said the case is being investigated under Section 135(1) of the Customs Act for importing prohibited items.

Pangolin meat is considered a delicacy in China, Vietnam and in southern China.

They are also consumed as bush meat in many parts of Africa.

Their worth however comes from their scales, which are used in traditional medicine to cure everything from asthma to reproductive problems and even cancer.

There is, however, no scientific study to back these claims.

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