Police arrest six suspected illegal wildlife traders
Forestry Department police officers arrest six people suspected of being involved in the illegal wildlife trade during raids in Bago, Ayeyarwady and Mandalay regions.
FORESTRY Department police officers have arrested six men in Mandalay, Ayeyarwady and Bago regions for allegedly storing and selling wild animal body parts, according to a police statement on Tuesday.
The suspects were arrested during separate law enforcement operations on June 9, the statement said.
Among those recovered in the raids were elephant hides, horns of various deer species, bison horns, turtle shells and meats, porcupine quills, bear bones, claws and paws, and skulls of various wild animals, among others.
“Due to the market demands of neighbouring countries, there are many people storing and trading these (wildlife parts),” said U Khin Maung Myint, Director of Forestry Department of Ayeyarwaddy Region. “This market emerged as the horns and hides of the animal are hung on the walls for decorative purposes, made into hand wear accessories, and mixed with other medicinal roots for medicine.”
All the suspects have been charged under the country’s Protection of Wildlife and Protected Areas Law.
The officials said elephant poaching cases are usually common in Ayeyarwady and Yangon Regions and the Forestry Department and Police Force uncovered the cases in May.
According to the Forestry Law, killing and trading of protected wildlife is punishable by up to 7 years imprisonment.
Some of the body parts of wildlife species seized during the raids.