MIRI: The authorities have carried out four successful raids against wildlife traders in Miri and Sibu over the past 24 hours and rescued more than 200 rare animals including reptiles, amphibians and birds.
The operations on Thursday (Jan 23) were jointly staged by the Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC), the General Operations Force and the police in a trading outpost in Sibuti town (in Miri) and in three shops in Sibu town.
Among the animals rescued in the Miri case were rare songbirds, wild parrots, zebra doves, and various species of baby crocodiles and rare turtles.
In the three separate raids in Sibu, the animals rescued were rare turtles, iguanas and exotic lizards, while body parts of mammals such as skulls, horns and fur were seized.
Four suspects, one each from the four raids, were held for questioning.
SFC chief executive officer Zolkipli Mohamad Aton said that the joint raids showed unity of purpose by the enforcement agencies to put an end to wildlife abuse in Sarawak.
“The joint raids are proving to be very successful.
“With good information coming from the public too, we are seeing more successful raids and rescues of wildlife from these wildlife traders and smugglers, ” he said when contacted on Friday (Jan 24).
The four latest cases of illegal trading of wildlife are being investigated under the Wildlife Protection Ordinance.
Those found guilty can be jailed between one and five years and fined between RM10,000 and RM50,000 for each offence.
Zolkipli urged the public to continue keeping alert for wildlife abuse cases.
He said they were the ears and eyes of the enforcement authorities.
Members of the public who have information on those who are capturing, hunting, trading, keeping or abusing wildlife can call the SFC hotlines.
The SFC hotlines are in Kuching (019-885 9996,016-856 5564), Sibu (019-888 3561), in Bintulu (019-822 3449,019-833 2737), and Miri (018-979 9778,019-829 0994).
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