Malaysia is becoming more famous internationally for the wrong reason. Malaysia is now ranked among the top 10 illegal wildlife smuggling hubs in the world, specialising in transporting pangolins, birds and clouded monitor lizards.
The wildlife is smuggled out of the country through the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Penang International Airport, and through the sea via Johor. And I thought our Airports are pretty secured.
Apparently the security at our airports suck and enforcement from the Foresty, Wildlife, National Parks and the Police all closed their eyes on this issue. Yes, Syed Hamid Albar is also to be blamed.
Malaysia a hub for wildlife smuggling
By YENG AI CHUN
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is ranked among the top 10 illegal wildlife smuggling hubs in the world, specialising in transporting pangolins, birds and clouded monitor lizards.
The wildlife is smuggled out of the country through the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Penang International Airport, and through the sea via Johor.
South-East Asia regional director for Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network Traffic Azrina Abdullah said Malaysia was a transit and harvest hub for illegal wildlife trade.
“We are among the top 10 smuggling hubs together with Manila, Medan, Singapore and the United States.
“Hanoi is also catching up as a smuggling hub,’’ she said after attending a lecture by Bryan Christy, the author of The Lizard King: The True Crimes and Passion of the World’s Greatest Reptile Smugglers at the Academy of Sciences Malaysia yesterday.
During the talk, Christy touched on a chapter in his book which chronicled the dealings of a Penangite regarded as the top reptile smuggler in the world.
Azrina said the smuggled wildlife would end up in cooking pots in China; pet shops in Germany, the European Union countries and the United States.
“It is especially easy to smuggle reptiles because they are small and cold blooded,” she said.
She added that one could smuggle a snake by “balling” it and tying it up for long flights as it could withstand cold temperatures and survive on minimal food.
“Smugglers are also known to export dangerous wildlife species with valid papers as a front. The illegal wildlife are placed below the legal ones,” she said.
She added some smugglers even dispensed tips to buyers on how to smuggle their new ‘pet’ home on a long haul flight.
Azrina said Malaysia was the preferred hub because of its strategic location and low-risk.
“If you get caught smuggling drugs, you can be hanged. But if you are caught smuggling a tiger, you are fined,’’ she said.
Azrina said NGOs were lobbying for stricter laws under the Protection of Wildlife Act 1972 (PWA).
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