GERIK, March 13 — Police have busted a syndicate which had been hunting and selling wildlife for the past nine years, in a three-day operation dubbed Ops Gading in Gerik, last Sunday.
Internal Security and Public Order Department director Datuk Seri Zulkifli Abdullah said the four syndicate members, all locals including a Forestry Research Institute of Malaysia contract worker, aged between 40 and 49, were professional hunters.
He said in the operation participated by 40 police and Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) personnel, several hunting weapons, cash and wildlife carcasses were seized.
“Among items seized were RM10,500 in cash believed to be from the sales of elephant ivory; four firearms including a .458 rifle, two homemade shotguns and a Colt M15 as well as five homemade gun barrels,” he told a press conference at Gerik district police headquarters here today.
Elaborating Zulkifli said police described the syndicate as very notorious as they have killed about 20 elephants since 2009 and earned more than RM800,000 from wildlife and ivory sales believed to be for the Thai market.
He said the suspects have been detained for seven days from yesterday and the case was being investigated under Section 8 of the Firearms (Increased Penalties) Act 1971, Section 8 (a) of the Firearms Act 1960 and Section 6 of the Corrosive and Explosive Substances and Offensive Weapons Act 1958. — Bernama