Bid to smuggle out exotic birds thwarted

Rosdi (centre) with photos of the attempt to smuggle protected exotic birds into Indonesia

KUCHING: Sarawak General Operations Force (GOF) 11th Battalion thwarted an attempt to smuggle out 1,060 protected ‘Pelimang’ and ‘Murai Batu’ bird species with an estimated value of RM855,000.

“The raid conducted around 1pm by a team of 11 members of the 11th Battalion, four from Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) and four from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), which took place in a hidden route at Tebedu area.

“A 39-year-old Indonesian woman was arrested for failing to provide proper documentation for the exotic birds while a man in his 30s was also arrested for attempting to bribe the team by offering RM7,000,” GOF 11th Battalion commanding officer Supt Rosdi Inai said in a press conference.

The operation codenamed ‘Op Bersepadu Khazanah’ was conducted on Monday.

The hidden route could only be accessed by a motorcycle and the suspect would carry the birds to a hidden place while the accomplice would be waiting at the roadside with the captured birds.

Rosdi (centre) with photos of the attempt to smuggle protected exotic birds into Indonesia

The birds were kept in plastic baskets covered with cardboard, and ready to be transported into Indonesia.

Rosdi said that there was high demand for the birds in Indonesia and they fetched a hefty price.

The case was handed over to SFC and will be investigated under Section 29 of the Wildlife Protection Ordinance 1998 while the male suspect will be investigated under Section 17(B) MACC Act 2009 for bribery.

“We urge the public to give more information to aid in the conservation, and prevention of poaching, as these exotic birds are a protected species,” Rosdi added.