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KOTA KINABALU, Aug 4 (Bernama) -- Fifty new appointments were approved in July for the establishment of the Wildlife Crime Bureau (WCB) in the fight against the smuggling of wildlife and flora, said Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Tan Sri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani.
He said the WCB would be structured under the Bukit Aman police Internal Security and Public Order Department to enable each wildlife crime investigation be conducted comprehensively so as not to allow the perpetrators get away with the crime.
"These 50 appointments will be created soonest possible by identifying the officers and staff to be assigned to the WCB.
"I believe the establishment of WCB will have a more effective impact on fighting wildlife crime committed by illegal hunters and those involved in the trafficking of protected and threatened species,” he said at a news conference, here, today.
Earlier, Acryl Sani attended the Khazanah Integrated Op (OBK) Meeting Series 11, No. 2/2022, here, with the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) director-general, Datuk Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim and Malaysia Royal Customs Department (JKDM) director-general, Datuk Zazuli Johan also present.
Acryl Sani said among other things, meeting finalised the three different standard operating procedures (SOPs) in fighting wildlife crime in the peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak, and the SOPs would be streamlined in accordanc with the Act or Ordinance at the three entities involved, effective today.
He said the OBK immediately had a positive impact on conservation of the country’s flora and fauna through a number of seizures and arrests made after being established on Sept 3, 2019 with the cooperation of the relevant enforcement agencies and non-governmental organisations.
Acryl Sani said that up to July this year, RM3.8 million worth of seized items were recorded, with 97 arrests made in 60 cases of wildlife crime, a marked increase compared with RM537,490 involving 30 cases and 29 arrests made during the same period last year.
“PDRM will remain committed to upholding sustainable development under the Agenda 2023 towards conservation and protection of the country’s natural treasures,” he added,
Meanwhile, Zazuli said JKDM managed to seize various wildlife species valued at RM112 million during the OBK starting in 2019 until last year.
"Over 65 tonnes of red sanders and more than six tonnes of pangolin scales were seized and handed over to the relevant authority for disposal.
"JKDM also managed to save various wildlife including 4,500 oriental magpie robins from Johor’s coastal areas destined for the Indonesian black market and over 6,000 tortoises of various types brought in by passengers via the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, mainly for the China black market.
Zazuli said that last July 12, JKDM found and seized a large amount of elephant ivory, rhinoceros tusks, pangolin scales and other items worth RM73 million.
On Perhilitan, Abdul Kadir said it was always committed to ensuring conservation of the country’s natural treasures, especially its wildlife through enforcement of the Wildlife Conservation (Amendment) Act 2021 (Act 716) beginning this year.
This amended Act, passed by Parliament in December 2021 and gazetted last February, has raised the maximum fine from RM500,000 to RM1 million and maximum jail sentence from 10 years to 15 in preventing and combating wildlife crime, he added.
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