KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government has praised law enforcement personnel involved in recent arrests of suspects involved in wildlife poaching in central Sabah’s Tongod district and east coast Tawau.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew (pic) said the actions of the police, Rela, Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) rangers and Yayasan Sabah's Wildlife wardens had helped to nab suspects involved in wildlife trade during the movement control order (MCO).
Five local suspects were arrested at Kg Keramuak, Tongod on Wednesday (April 22) and at Jalan Sungai Imam in Tawau on Thursday (April 23) for trading in bushmeat.
In the Tongod case, police nabbed two local men, aged 30 and 36, and seized the carcass of a deer.
In Tawau, three locals, aged between 29 and 49, were arrested by wildlife rangers and wardens who also seized the carcasses of five deers.
"Kudos to the law enforcers. Such concerted effort on their part is laudable. I was informed by the SWD director (Augustine Tuuga) that the roadblock in Tawau was manned by our rangers who were assisted by Yayasan Sabah's Wildlife wardens.
“The arrest in Tongod was made by a police patrol team assisted by Rela members. They were on a crime prevention and Covid-19 patrol under the MCO.
"My message is that poaching does not pay and the culprits will eventually be caught by the long arm of the law.
"I hope the arrests will serve as a deterrent to other would-be perpetrators out there," Liew, who is also state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister, said in a statement on Sunday (April 26).
She also thanked the public for their assistance as the arrests in Tawau came from a public tip-off.
Liew hoped that these “relentless” efforts would continue in pursuing other poachers who remain elusive.
According to Liew, both cases are being investigated for possession of protected species under the Sabah Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997.