MIRI: The Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) hails a Sessions Court Judge for imposing a RM1.4mil fine and one-year jail sentence against two pangolin smugglers in Bintulu in northern Sarawak.
SFC chief executive officer Zolkipli Mohamad Aton said the judgement meted out is a stern warning to everyone that the authorities are indeed very serious in wanting to stop the wildlife trade and abuse in the state.
"SFC welcomes this very stern sentence imposed against these pangolin smugglers.
"Let this heavy punishment be a deterrent to those who are hunting, poaching, trading and smuggling wildlife. The authorities will not tolerate these wildlife abuses.
"It is a welcome development," he told The Star on Thursday (Jan 16).
On Wednesday (Jan 15), Bintulu Sessions Court Judge Norhamizah Shaifuddin sentenced ship owner Tan Choon Haw and worker Por Seong Wooi after finding them guilty.
The duo were convicted of smuggling 146 live pangolins on their ship in the South China Sea on April 5,2018.
They were jailed one year each and fined RM1.4mil each, in default four months jail.
Two other foreign workers - from India and Vietnam - were acquitted of the charges.
All of them were caught on board the vessel by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency about five nautical miles off Bintulu.
The State Attorney General’s Chambers brought the case to court for prosecution.
Zolkipli said Thursday (Jan 16) that SFC is working closely with all other enforcement agencies to protect wildlife in Sarawak of which many are endangered.
SFC units in the districts are carrying out enforcement rounds in native tamus, urban markets and in pet shops to curb the illegal wildlife trade, he said.
He called on the public to continue giving accurate information that can help the SFC in these enforcement aspects.
The SFC hotlines are available on SFC’s website.
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