Watch out, poachers! Wildlife crime bureau to start ops next year

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Mazlan Lazim - Bernama

GEORGE TOWN: Police will kick start a new department to support the country's battle against wildlife poaching and trafficking.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Mazlan Lazim said the new taskforce will be dubbed Wildlife Crime Bureau.

"We will start off with 50 personnel in the team.

"Necessary paperwork is complete and hopefully, we will launch it by next year.

"It is crucial we put a halt to illegal poaching before endangered animals go extinct," he told reporters after a meeting at a hotel in Batu Ferringhi on Tuesday (Nov 30).

The bureau will support other agencies such as the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) in its Khazanah joint operations.

Perhilitan director-general Datuk Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim said since the operations started in Sept 2019, 39 operations have been conducted across Peninsular Malaysia to curb trespassing, illegal logging, forestry theft and illegal poaching.

"It has seen a total of 1,425 wildlife traps destroyed and other items worth RM36.11mil seized.

"A total of 181 investigation papers were opened with 350 violators arrested comprising 253 locals and 97 foreigners," he said.

So far this year, 11 operations have been carried out with a latest raid ongoing.

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