Perhilitan investigating notorious illegal wildlife seller

PETALING JAYA: The Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) is working with the police to investigate a notorious wildlife trader.

This came following conservationists urging the authorities to investigate the trader for claiming to have a letter from "the Palace".

On March 11, the seller who goes by the name Amsyar Kejora lashed out at activists who protested his online wildlife trade.

"Are you all not ashamed of barking like rabies-infected dogs on Facebook?

"Come on, investigate who I am first... I have a surat istana (palace letter) la, " he said in thinly-veiled threat, blatantly tagging Perhilitan in his Facebook post.

The post has since being deleted.

Amsyar is known to operate multiple online platforms under the names Kejora Pets, Kejora Amsyar, Kayangan Pets, Kejora Surian and Kuching Exotic Pets.

Over the years, he is believed to have traded in sun bears, dusky leaf monkeys, leopard cats, slow loris, a black panther and others.

These endangered wildlife are protected species under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010, making it illegal to sell or keep them without a special permit.

Conservationists have been reporting about Amsyar's activities since 2015.

"He is one of the biggest local illegal wildlife traders, " founder of Gibbon Protection Society Malaysia Mariani @ Bam Ramli said.

Mariani has been tracking Amsyar for six years, saying he is becoming increasingly blatant in his illicit activities.

On Tuesday, she exposed Amsyar's claims of having a letter from "the palace" and whipped up public support to lodge reports against him for undermining the Malay Royal institution and associating the Palace with illegal wildlife activities.

"He has been an active seller for almost eight years, but he seems to be immune from any action despite dozens of reports lodged with Perhilitan, " Mariani claimed.

"He has suppliers from different states in peninsular who poach wildlife, " she added.

So far, five police reports have been lodged against Amsyar.

Checks showed Amsyar has deleted his Facebook account, but he is believed to still operate on other social media platforms including Telegram, WhatsApp and Instagram.

Perhilitan director-general Datuk Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim said they were following his movements online.

"Anyone can claim they have a surat istana. But until you can produce it, it is not true, " he said.

In 2016, The Star carried an exposé about how easy it was to buy and sell wildlife online.

The online trade continues to boom because it is not a crime to advertise exotic pets online.

Perhilitan has proposed to make advertising of exotic pets online an offence under the amendments to the Act.

Currently, action can only be taken against those who are caught red-handed smuggling the animals or if the animals are found on their premises.

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