Officers say that the $18m seizure of tusks, skulls, horns and scales is their greatest up to now.
Malaysian authorities have seized a container of African elephant tusks, pangolin scales and different wildlife skulls and bones estimated to be price 80 million Malaysian ringgit ($18m) – their greatest seizure up to now.
The Royal Malaysian Customs Division stated in an announcement on Monday that it had found the contraband hidden behind sawn timber following checks on a ship on July 10.
The haul included 6,000kg (13,227 kilos) of elephant tusks, 100kg (220 kilos) of pangolin scales, 25kg (55 kilos) of rhino horns and 300kg (661 kilos) of animal elements together with bones and horns, it added.
Royal Malaysian Customs Director Normal, Zazuli Johan, advised reporters at a information convention in Port Klang, Malaysia’s major port, that it was their greatest seizure up to now.
The cargo had been on its manner from Africa by way of Abu Dhabi to Pasir Gudang, a significant port in southern Malaysia, and was beneath surveillance.
He stated: “The customs enforcement unit efficiently thwarted an tried smuggling of this stuff – elephant tusks, rhino horns, pangolin scales, tiger enamel and numerous different bones and animal elements that had been present in a container at Port Klang.”
The customs division stated investigations had been ongoing.
Officers didn’t give additional particulars and it was unclear if the container was meant to be shipped to different elements of Asia.
“This medley of threatened species in a single consignment is regarding,” Kanitha Krishnasamy, director for TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, stated in an announcement. “It actually verifies the suspicion that criminals proceed to make use of Malaysian ports to maneuver contraband wildlife.”
Commerce on this planet’s eight species of the pangolin is totally banned beneath the Conference on Worldwide Commerce in Endangered Species (CITES).
Nonetheless, demand for the animal’s scales, which, like human nails, are fabricated from keratin, is feeding the unlawful commerce. The pangolin is alleged to be the world’s most trafficked mammal.
Ivory tusks, rhino horns and pangolin scales are believed to have medicinal properties by some folks, and are in excessive demand within the area.