KUALA LUMPUR: “VVIPs” caught engaging in illegal hunting will be met with the full force of the law, says the country’s top cop.
“I have received information that there are 'VVIPs' who are involved in these activities.
"If they are able to be identified, I will make sure that their firearms are seized. They will also not escape prosecution if caught at the scene, ” Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador (pic) told a press conference in Bukit Aman today (Oct 30).
The IGP conducted talks on the ongoing Ops Bersepadu Khazanah along with the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) and Forestry Department, aimed at curbing illegal hunting, poaching as well as the smuggling of wildlife.
Abdul Hamid said several international syndicates working in cahoots with Malaysians had been identified.
Several incidents of park rangers being injured by these syndicate members were also brought up to the attention of the authorities.
On the issue, Abdul Hamid issued a stern warning to poachers, saying that he had mobilised the elite Senoi Praaq teams to lead patrols.
“These are our lands and jungles. But foreigners come in and threaten our enforcement officers? I cannot accept this.
“They are those who attack officers from Perhilitan, so we have placed the Senoi Praaq members with them.
"I have given a directive that if the actions of these poachers resulted in injuries or death to our enforcement officers, then we (police) are allowed to return fire. Mati pun tak pe (even if the poachers are killed), ” he said.
Abdul Hamid said police were willing to have two Senoi Praaq battalions (1,073 personnel) to be attached to the operation and that all the relevant ministries had been informed.
He added that the police’s air wing and marine police would be roped in when needed.
“They will provide assistance and firepower to the operation. This shows how committed we are, ” he said.
The IGP also said that the United Nations took a serious view on the issue of illegal hunting.
“We are a tropical country and have rich and diverse flora and fauna. The United Nations are observing if we are a responsible country," he said.