KOTA KINABALU: A special police Wildlife Crime Bureau (WCB) is set to give more strength in the country’s efforts to protect wildlife.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said the bureau would be based in Bukit Aman under the Internal Security and Public Order Department.
“The government had approved 50 positions for the bureau last month. We thank the government for this.
“The WCB will provide a more effective impact in the war against wildlife crimes like poaching and illegal wildlife trade,” he said after attending the Ops Bersepadu Khazanah (OBK) here on Thursday (Aug 4).
Acryl Sani said they were in the process of identifying the officers and personnel to work at the bureau.
“We will establish the WCB as soon as possible.
“Although the bureau is in Bukit Aman, they will also cover Sabah and Sarawak,” he said, adding the WCB would also be responsible for issues related to protected flora.
Meanwhile, Acryl Sani said the integrated multi-agency OBK, which was launched on Sept 3, 2019, has proven to be successful in preserving the flora and fauna in the country.
He said between January and July this year, the agencies under the OBK which comprised, among others, the police, Customs Department and Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan), handled 60 cases involving offences related to natural heritage.
This represented a 100% increase from 30 cases it handled during the same period last year, he added.
Acryl Sani said 97 people were arrested this year compared to 29 people between January and July in 2021.
“The agencies under the OBK also seized items worth over RM3.8mil this year compared to RM537,490 from January to July last year.
“The police are committed to work with other government agencies through the OBK which directly supports the Sustainable Development Goals in the protection and conservation of the country’s natural heritage,” he said.