According to The Star, the Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) found over 20 parts from rare animals in a locked room during a raid at a Batu Niah food court in Miri, Sarawak.
The raid which happened on 4 November saw police seizing a sawfish’s head, the skin of a wild cat, two primate skulls, three large carnivore skulls, two tortoise shells and more animal parts that were hidden with a 45-year-old suspect. The suspect has since then been arrested during the operation.
SFC chief executive officer Zolkipli Mohamad Aton, who is also the Controller of Wildlife, in a statement yesterday said wildlife specialists have been called in to verify the species of the poached skins and skulls, but some specimens have yet to be fully identified.
“The suspect’s statement was recorded after he was found keeping wildlife parts without valid documentation from the Controller of Wildlife. He is now being investigated under the Wildlife Protection Ordinance 1998. The investigation is ongoing and we are taking this case seriously,” said Zolkipli.
He expressed gratitude to Mirians for their tip-off and encouraged members of the public to continue providing leads and information to SFC officers in combating illegal wildlife trade in the state. I mean… Who would’ve thought that these illegal parts would be found in a food court?
Zolkipli also noted that SFC enforcement has been proven effective with the high numbers of successful raids. “We will continue to be vigilant and work closely with relevant agencies and the public at large to curb any illegal wildlife trade,” he said.
If you have any suspicions, SFC hotlines are reachable at 019-8859996 (Kuching), 019-8883561 (Sibu), 019-8332737 (Bintulu), 019-8290994 (Miri).