GERIK: The police have arrested four men and seized firearms along with hunting equipment used in illegal hunts here.
This followed the discovery of a 30-year-old male elephant which was shot dead at Hutan Piah, about 15km from Jalan Gerik-Kuala Kangsar, here on Sunday.
Bukit Aman Internal Security and Public Order director Comm Datuk Seri Zulkifli Abdullah said a 40-man raiding team, including police and Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) officers, arrested the four, aged between 40 and 49, at various locations.
“One of them led police to a house in Kampung Padang Jeri where they found two rifles, two homemade shotguns, 255 bullets, wire traps, machetes, chainsaw and other equipment used for hunting.
“Police also seized RM10,500, a deer horn and seven bone pieces believed to be from a tiger,” he told a press conference here.
Comm Zulkifli said those arrested included a 44-year-old contractor from Kuala Lumpur, who works with the Forest Research Institute Malaysia, a 40-year-old backhoe operator from Kota Baru, Kelantan, a 49-year-old latex seller from Lenggong and a rubber tapper, 40, from here.
“The latex seller has two criminal cases for extortion, he said.
“All four suspects will be remanded until March 18 to be investigated for possessing illegal firearms, unlicensed weapons or ammunitions and also for carrying weapons in public,” he added.
Comm Zulkifli said one of the suspects had admitted to selling an elephant tusk to a middleman at the border of Rantau Panjang for RM12,000.
“The market value for a tusk is between RM200 and RM400 per 100g, based on demand.
“From the suspect’s account, he started hunting illegally since 2009,” he said, adding that the police believed that some 20 elephants have been killed by the suspects.
“A post-mortem conducted by Perhilitan at its forensics department in Cheras showed that the animal was shot twice in the head and once on its right buttock,” he added.
Comm Zulkifli appealed to the public and related non-governmental organisations for information with regards to illegal hunting activities.