KUALA LUMPUR: Deer hides, tiger parts and elephant semen were among items seized in the latest Ops Bersepadu Khazanah, says Bukit Aman Internal Security and Public Order deputy director Comm Datuk Zainal Abidin Kasim.
He said eight more men were arrested in the special operation by personnel from the police and the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan).
“Among the latest to be arrested were two Indonesians who were found in Gua Musang with tiger claws, canine teeth and testicles as well as elephant semen and deer hides, ” he said, adding that the men were arrested at a food court on Nov 9.
It is learnt that elephant semen is believed by some to be an aphrodisiac, while others think it has mystical powers.
On the same day, Comm Zainal said a local man was caught in Labis, Johor, with several forest plants such as wild orchids and Kacip Fatimah, while another four were caught in Kedah with tools including a chainsaw and four machetes, which were probably used for collecting Karanji wood from the Ulu Muda forest reserve.
Meanwhile, authorities caught a Cambodian man on Nov 10 near the Endau-Rompin National Park with 20 nylon snares and an axe.
“We believe the snares were used to trap animals and the axe was meant to collect agarwood from the area, ” he said.
The cases are being investigated under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 for illegal hunting and for possessing snares.
Comm Zainal said authorities would also investigate the methods used by foreign poachers to gain entry to Malaysia and its forests.
“We believe locals are involved and they accommodate them, and while some of them entered the country by legal means, others have found ways to trespass and we are now looking into how they gained entry, ” he said.
The latest arrests bring the total number of suspects nabbed in the operation to 47 since the operation was launched in September.
Separately, Comm Zainal said the Tiger Platoon from the General Operations Force of the Sabah Brigade would be deployed to areas in Danum, Kinabatangan and Beluran to monitor wildlife poaching.
He said similar operations in Sarawak were ongoing, adding that joint efforts from all agencies were needed to protect the country’s natural heritage.