Malaysia busts Vietnamese nationals for wildlife trafficking

Authorities in Malaysia have arrested 12 traffickers, including eight Vietnamese nationals, and seized hundreds of parts of highly endangered species following raids on two transnational wildlife criminal networks in the country.

The remaining suspects detained during the operations in late August were two Malaysian and two Chinese nationals.

The arrests are the result of a collaboration between the Wildlife Justice Commission (WJC) and Malaysia’s Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan). The WJC is an international not-for-profit organization based in The Hague, the Netherlands.

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The wildlife parts seized during their operations, worth about US$500,000, included elephant ivory, pangolin scales, tiger skins, big cat bones, tiger claws and teeth, bear gallbladders and hornbill beaks.

Investigators from the WJC have successfully infiltrated two criminal networks operating in Malaysia; one Vietnamese and one Chinese. Having secured proof of criminal activity, raids were conducted across Kuala Lumpur leading to the arrests and seizures, the WJC said in a statement on September 2.

If convicted, the traffickers will face a fine of up to 500,000 Malaysian Ringgit (US$122,225) or up to 5 years in prison, or both.


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