Suspect detained in Indonesia with ivory smuggled in from Sabah 'still in shock'


KOTA KINABALU: Indonesian authorities have been unable to glean more information from a suspect who was detained with a shipment of ivory as he is still in a "state of shock" since his arrest on July 9.

Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga said they had been trying to get more information on this matter from their Indonesian counterparts, since the 54-year-old suspect was nabbed in Kalimantan, Indonesia on July 9 with a shipment of ivory smuggled in from Sabah.

"However, that the suspect is not able to give reliable information where and whom he bought the tusks from," he said, adding this could be due to the trauma and shock suffered following his arrest.

Tuuga said they were not giving up and would continue trying to get more information from Indonesia over the matter.

"We need details so that we can be better prepared and increase precautionary measures to prevent tusks from being smuggled out," he said, without confirming whether the tusks seized were from Sabah or elsewhere.

He also believes that the tusks were not new due to its condition.

The suspect was nabbed while trying smuggle 10 elephant tusks back to his hometown to used as part of a customary dowry payment.

The Timorese suspect was arrested after Customs officials spotted the tusks during a mandatory X-ray scan at the port shortly after he arrived on a passenger ferry from Tawau on July 9.

The man, who claimed he had been working in Lahad Datu for the past 32 years, is being detained for smuggling ivory, which is banned worldwide.

The suspect told Indonesian officials that he paid RM9,400 for the tusks.


   

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