KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 10 men, including seven Cambodians, were detained for poaching, resulting in the seizure of various wildlife parts worth RM908,000, says Deputy Comm Datuk Mastor Mohd Ariff.
The Bukit Aman Internal Security and Public Order Department (KDNKA) deputy director said the suspected poachers were nabbed during the special operation codenamed Ops Bersepadu Khazanah (OBK) between Oct 10 and Oct 16.
He said the first arrest was made on a local man in Felcra Sungai Temau in Kuala Lipis, Pahang on Oct 10.
"We seized various animal parts, including parts of tiger skin and pangolin scales," he told a press conference in Bukit Aman on Tuesday (Oct 22).
The second series of arrests were at Kampung Padang Kunyit, in Grik, Perak, at about 6.10am on Oct 11, DCP Mastor said.
"Two local men were detained. We checked the premises and discovered 25kg of agar wood, along with other wildlife, including five species of birds," he said.
The next raid occurred at a transit camp at the Endau-Rompin National Park on Oct 16, where a Cambodian man was detained, he added.
"We seized 162 nylon nets, 1kg of agar wood, four parts of a wild boar, five axes and machetes, as well as a tool to extract agar wood.
"We will investigate further to uncover whether the suspect has any accomplices," he said.
DCP Mastor said the OBK special task force then raided a big transit camp in Hutan Simpan Tembat, in Hulu Terengganu on Oct 20.
"We detained six Cambodian men, who used the transit camp for lodging and to refill their rations.
"We believe the suspects spent between one and three months in the jungle to hunt and collect wildlife," he said.
Various wildlife parts, including an elephant trunk, two bone necklaces made from animal fangs, and a turtle shell were seized from the camp, he added.
"The suspects moved in groups and they received rations such as food from other accomplices," he said.
The successful operations were made possible due to cooperation between 143 Senoi Praaq and 106 Wildlife and National Parks department (Perhilitan) personnel, who combed the jungles in search of the poachers, DCP Mastor added.
"The modus operandi of the foreign poachers is to enter the country, either legally or illegally, and then an agent will send them to the edge of a jungle.
"They will then move in groups and enter the jungle in search of their ill-gotten gains," he said.
The poachers would leave thousands of animal traps in the jungles, leading to the torture of wildlife.
"We discovered tigers with legs missing due to the traps.
"These poachers would place the traps and leave it there for months. It is not uncommon to find animals dying because they were trapped for long periods of time," he said.
In the black market, tigers are worth RM500,000 each in neighbouring countries, while on the Internet, the price can reach up to RM800,000, he added.
"That is why the poachers prefer to collect their wildlife loot and sell it in neighbouring countries, as it will fetch a higher price," he said.
The Ops Bersepadu Khazanah was launched on Sept 3 by Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador. It consists of cooperation between Perhilitan and the General Operations Force's Senoi Praaq Team (Battalion 3) and Battalion 18.
The Senoi Praaq battalion comprises Orang Asli officers who are highly skilled at tracking in the forest.