Malaysian customs seize 8.8 tons of pangolin scales worth R311m

While OR Tambo International Airport is making progress with the implementation of the integrated multi-disciplinary tactical security plan, with recent arrests made at the airport related to rhino horn and other crimes, other countries are also cracking down on the illegal trade of endangered animals at airport and port security.

Malaysian customs seized 8.8 ton of pangolin scales worth R311m (RM100m - R3.11/ Malaysian Ringgit) at the Sepanggar Bay container port in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.

Estimates by Malaysian customs officials state this equates to some 16 000 pangolins that have been poached, averaging out at about 500g per pangolin. This indicates significantly small individuals when you consider that the scales make up about 20% of the actual animal, which is being driven to the brink of extinction and further highlighting the plight of the endangered species, with all trade in pangolin banned by CITES on in 2016. 

According to Malaysian media The Star Online, Sabah Customs and Excise Department director Datuk Janathan Kandok says the "pangolin scales were found in 266 gunny sacks owned by a private company that was meant for export on July 29" and a 43-year-old local man, the owner of the company, has been detained.

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Source: News24