Updated: Aug 5, 2018
By Cheyenne Johnson, Managing Editor
Malaysian wildlife officers arrest 6 Vietnamese nationals for poaching and targeting the Malayan tiger. A large quantity of animal parts were also seized. The successful raid was conducted last week by The Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia (Perhilitan) at a workers’ living quarters in the central state of Pahang.
It’s unclear at this time what sentence the poachers will be given, but those found guilty of poaching protected wildlife in Malaysia can be fined up to RM500,000 (~$120,000) and face jail sentences of up to 5 years.
Wildlife department chief Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim praised the success of the operation.
"This is the biggest raid involving tigers in Malaysia this year, worth half a million ringgit ($124,000)," said Hashim.
According to Hashim, the poachers killed 3 tigers, one of which was a cub.
Malayan tigers are a critically endangered species, with less than 340 left in the wild. They’re found only on the Malaya Peninsula and the southern tip of Thailand. Due to its native habitat and reverence in the community, the tiger is the official animal of Malaysia, and the animal is depicted on its coat of arms and other national emblems.
This raid spurred discussion from other global anti-poaching organizations including the wildlife trafficking organization TRAFFIC Southeast Asia.
“This is a significant seizure and we congratulate Perhilitan on their successful investigations. But this loss is heartbreaking for Malaysia’s wild tigers,” said
Acting Regional Director for TRAFFIC in Southeast Asia Kanitha Krishnasamy.
“We urge the Federal Government to act with urgency and support ongoing efforts to keep Malaysia’s national symbol, as well as the national parks where they roam, free from poachers."
The case remains under investigation, and it’s unclear at this time what sentence the poachers will be given. Those found guilty of poaching protected wildlife in Malaysia can be fined up to RM500,000 (~$120,000) and face jail sentences of up to 5 years.