RM103m pan­golin scale smug­gling bid foiled

New Straits Times - - News | Nation -

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Cus­toms De­part­ment foiled an at­tempt to smug­gle out over RM103 mil­lion worth of pan­golin scales to China via the Sepang­gar Port here last month.

The scales were dis­cov­ered in­side two con­tain­ers, packed in 226 gunny sacks and weigh­ing about 8,000kg, wait­ing to be shipped out.

State Cus­toms di­rec­tor Datuk Dr Janathan Kan­dok said en­force­ment of­fi­cers made the dis­cov­ery on July 29.

“Those re­spon­si­ble in han­dling the items had de­clared them as be­ing an­i­mal shells to de­ceive en­force­ment per­son­nel.

“The scales were be­lieved to be en route to China.

“They are es­ti­mated to be worth US$3,000 (RM12,886) per kilo­gramme on the black mar­ket,” he said at Wisma Kas­tam here to­day.

Kan­dok said each bag was filled be­tween 30 and 50 kilo­grammes of pan­golin scales, be­lieved to have been sourced from 16,000 pan­golins.

Kan­dok said the de­part­ment had nabbed a 43-year-old lo­cal man, the owner of a com­pany, to fa­cil­i­tate in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

“This is the big­gest suc­cess by Sabah Cus­toms this year in thwart­ing an at­tempt to smug­gle pan­golin scales out of the state,” he said.

PIC BY AMNIERA NAZIERA AMRAN

Sabah Cus­toms di­rec­tor Datuk Dr Janathan Kan­dok (cen­tre) show­ing the seized pan­golin scales in Kota Kinabalu yes­ter­day.

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