Man in Tumpat nabbed over smuggling of exotic animals worth more than RM60,000

A man was arrested in Kampung Kebun near Pengkalan Kubor, Tumpat for allegedly smuggling exotic animals. — Reuters pic
A man was arrested in Kampung Kebun near Pengkalan Kubor, Tumpat for allegedly smuggling exotic animals. — Reuters pic

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KOTA BARU, April 25 — A man was arrested in Kampung Kebun near Pengkalan Kubor, Tumpat, yesterday for allegedly smuggling exotic animals worth more than RM60,000 into the country.

General Operations Force (GOF) 7th Battalion commanding officer Supt Azhari Nusi said the 33-year-old man was detained at 11.30pm, during the operation codenamed ‘Op Benteng’.

He said a team of policemen on patrol spotted the man, in a Proton Iswara Aeroback car behaving in a suspicious manner at about 11.20pm.

“Inspection of the car found 80 tortoises of the sulcata species worth RM 44,000; 12 Indian star tortoises (RM 12,000); a reticulated python (RM1,600); three squirrels of the red giant flying species (RM1,800) and a black dragon lizard (RM2,400).

“The total value of all animals seized amounts to RM65,800,” he said in a statement, here today.

Azhari said the man also failed to produce any valid document or permit for the animals seized.

“All the exotic animals were believed to have been smuggled in from Thailand for the local market,” he said, adding that the suspect was later taken to the Tumpat district police headquarters for further action. — Bernama

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