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DENGKIL, Aug 19 ― Heavier penalties ― a maximum fine of RM1 million and imprisonment of up to 15 years ― are being proposed for poaching.
Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia (Perhilitan) director-general Datuk Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim said the proposal to increase the sentence from a maximum fine of RM500,000 and imprisonment for five years now would involve amendments to the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 (Act 716).
“If there are no obstacles, we will be bringing amendments to the act (to Parliament) at the end of this year,” he said at a press conference after attending the Khazanah Integrated Operations (OBK) meeting aimed at protecting wildlife and forest conservation here today.
Also present at the event were Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador, Customs Department director-general Datuk Abdul Latif Abdul Kadir and deputy director-general of the Forestry Department Peninsular Malaysia (Operations and Technical), Mohd Rahim Rani.
Abdul Kadir said illegal hunting cases over the past 10 years involved locals as middlemen, while poachers were mostly “outsiders” from Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia who usually went into the forest for 90 days to set traps.
“The problem is the middlemen are Malaysians who organise their (outsiders) entry from the border,” he said.
Abdul Kadir said a total of 12 operations related to poaching were conducted this year until last August. There were a total of 43 investigation papers opened for various criminal offences, involving 86 offenders, with a confiscation value of RM1.37 million.
Of the 86 offenders, 62 were locals, nine Indonesians, seven Cambodians, four each from Vietnam and Sudan, he said.
During the OBK period implemented between Sept 3 last year and August this year, Abdul Kadir said among them, 543 traps were destroyed, 76 illegal immigrant tents were detected and 16 cases of hardwood felling were detected.
According to him, one major success from the OBK was the arrest of a highly wanted and active suspect, who hunted for elephants, tigers and other wildlife species, in Jerantut, Pahang on July 10. ― Bernama