Officers say that the $18m seizure of tusks, skulls, horns and scales is their greatest to this point.
Malaysian authorities have seized a container of African elephant tusks, pangolin scales and different wildlife skulls and bones estimated to be price 80 million Malaysian ringgit ($18m) – their greatest seizure to this point.
The Royal Malaysian Customs Division mentioned in an announcement on Monday that it had found the contraband hidden behind sawn timber following checks on a ship on July 10.
The haul included 6,000kg (13,227 kilos) of elephant tusks, 100kg (220 kilos) of pangolin scales, 25kg (55 kilos) of rhino horns and 300kg (661 kilos) of animal components together with bones and horns, it added.
Royal Malaysian Customs Director Normal, Zazuli Johan, informed reporters at a information convention in Port Klang, Malaysia’s important port, that it was their greatest seizure to this point.
The cargo had been on its method from Africa through Abu Dhabi to Pasir Gudang, a significant port in southern Malaysia, and was underneath surveillance.
He mentioned: “The customs enforcement unit efficiently thwarted an tried smuggling of this stuff – elephant tusks, rhino horns, pangolin scales, tiger tooth and varied different bones and animal components that have been present in a container at Port Klang.”
The customs division mentioned investigations have been ongoing.
Officers didn’t give additional particulars and it was unclear if the container was meant to be shipped to different components of Asia.
“This medley of threatened species in a single consignment is regarding,” Kanitha Krishnasamy, director for TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, mentioned in an announcement. “It definitely verifies the suspicion that criminals proceed to make use of Malaysian ports to maneuver contraband wildlife.”
Commerce on the planet’s eight species of the pangolin is totally banned underneath the Conference on Worldwide Commerce in Endangered Species (CITES).
Nonetheless, demand for the animal’s scales, which, like human nails, are product of keratin, is feeding the unlawful commerce. The pangolin is claimed to be the world’s most trafficked mammal.
Ivory tusks, rhino horns and pangolin scales are believed to have medicinal properties by some individuals, and are in excessive demand within the area.