MELAKA: Marine police here foiled an attempt to smuggle oriental magpie robins valued at almost RM500,000 with the arrest of four men early Saturday (June 27) morning.
Marine police deputy commander (Region Two) Supt Noor Azman Jamal said his men intercepted two boats in waters off Pulau Besar here before detaining a local and three Indonesian men aged 43 to 66 years old.
"The birds were believed to be in the process of being smuggled to a neighbouring country," he said in a statement Saturday.
Supt Noor Azman said police also confiscated 188 cages with the birds and seized two fibreglass boats and engines worth an estimated RM137,000.
Supt Noor Azman added that the case is being investigated under the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Act 2011 and Immigration Act 1959/63.
Oriental magpie robins, also known as songbirds, are popular for their melodious sounds and often used in songbird competitions in a neighbouring country.