‘Operation Dragon’ nabs eight air passengers involved in wildlife-smuggling syndicate

According to the statement, the India-based-syndicate is involved in wildlife trafficking network using passenger luggage to smuggle wildlife. — Reuters pic
According to the statement, the India-based-syndicate is involved in wildlife trafficking network using passenger luggage to smuggle wildlife. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 11 — The Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) has arrested eight airline passengers, all of them accomplices of a wildlife smuggling syndicate through Operation Dragon.

A statement by Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry (KATS) here yesterday said all of them were charged in court for committing offences under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 (Act 716).

Through this operation, Perhilitan also issued Interpol Red Notice against one of the accomplices involved in trafficking tortoises from India to Malaysia.

According to the statement, the India-based-syndicate is involved in wildlife trafficking network using passenger luggage to smuggle wildlife.

The syndicate uses various airlines from India to Malaysia and transit the animals to other countries using multiple modes of transportation.

Operation Dragon which is a special enforcement force targeting the smuggling syndicates of freshwater turtles and tortoises is an international collaboration between the Wildlife Justice Commission, Perhilitan, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau Indian and Interpol.

The collaborative task force carries out intelligence activities, analyse information, conduct investigations as well as conducting enforcement.

KATS, through Perhilitan is also committed to combat wildlife smuggling networks, collaborating with enforcement agencies such as police and Customs, Interpol as well as local and foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs). — Bernama