KOTA KINABALU, March 17 — Police here are denying cover-up or interference in the investigation of 14 men including four policemen arrested for poaching in a restricted forest reserve in Kalabakan, Tawau.
An elite forest commando unit called the Protect team arrested the group in the Vivadaya logging camp area of the Sapulut forest reserve in Kalabakan, Tawau on March 14 at 12.44pm and seized several animal carcasses including wild boar and local deer.
“The case will be investigated transparently by the Sabah Wildlife Department on all the people involved.
“I want to emphasise that there is no interference from the police in this case,” said Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hazani Ghazali in a statement here today.
When contacted by Malay Mail, he also denied rumours of the involvement of a politician, believed to be a nominated assemblyman and former MP in the arrest.
Earlier, Hazani said that the team, which consisted of 15 people including those from a wildlife NGO, made the arrest on the men and seized firearms, carcasses of the hunted animals, and five four-wheel-drive vehicles.
The suspects had their statements recorded and were released on police bail.
One of the suspects is believed to be an assistant police superintendent.
“We will also be investigating them and taking necessary action on the police involved, we are just waiting for the full report from the Wildlife Department,” said Hazani.