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January 27, 2023

Illegal Animal Parts Worth $18 Million Seized in Malaysia

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Kuni .G. Isaac

Malaysian customs officials exposed a haul containing six metric tons of elephant tusks and 100 kilograms of pangolin scales, among other illegal animal parts.

The 6,000-kilogram haul African elephant tusks were the largest bust of its kind in Malaysia

The customs seized 6,000 kilograms (13,227 pounds) of elephant tusks, 100 kilograms of pangolin scales, 25 kilograms of rhino horns and a further 300 kilograms of animal skulls, bones and horns, having an estimated worth of $18 million (€17.7 million) on July 10, hidden among timber in a shipping container that had arrived from Africa.

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Malaysian customs director-general Zazuli Johan publicized on Monday that the seizure of the elephant tusks in particular was the biggest in the country’s history.

he also added that Malaysia was not the final destination probably a way point

Southeast Asia director at wildlife trade monitoring group Traffic, Kanitha Krishnasamy, called the Malaysian confiscation a “significant seizure.”

“This medley of threatened species in a single seizure is concerning, and it certainly verifies the suspicion that criminals continue to use Malaysian ports to move contraband wildlife,” she stated

Malaysia is one of several Southeast Asian countries identified by conservationists as a hub from which wildlife and animal parts are illegally trafficked to other Asian countries, namely China.

There have been no arrests over the seizure. Investigations into the importer and shipping agent are ongoing.

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