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Jakarta Post

Pangolin smuggling thwarted in Dumai

  • Rizal Harahap

    The Jakarta Post

Pekanbaru, Riau   /   Fri, October 6, 2017   /   06:29 pm
Pangolin smuggling thwarted in Dumai A Malaysian customs official poses with seized pangolin scales following a press conference at the customs complex in Sepang on May 8. Malaysian customs officers have seized more than 700 kilograms of pangolin scales worth US $2.12 million, the country's largest haul of these scales, considered by some to have medicinal properties. (AFP/Manan Vatsyayana)

Customs and excise personnel in Dumai, Riau province have foiled an attempt to smuggle nearly 100 pangolins, the world's most trafficked mammal.

The customs and excise officers found 95 pangolins, the office’s spokesman, Khairil Anwar, said. The team also seized two boxes containing 37.5 kilograms of pangolin scales.

“The evidence was seized from a car passing through Medang Kampai subdistrict at 10:30 p.m. on Thursday,” he said on Friday.

Before the raid, a patrol team had been following the car for nearly an hour on suspicion of carrying illegal goods.  Suspicions grew after the car was seen heading toward an illegal port.  

Realizing the car was being tailed, the driver made a sudden stop and abandoned the car. The team members searched for the driver but to no avail, Khairil said.

He suspected the pangolins and the scales came from Jambi to be smuggled to Malaysia. The patrol team had received a tip-off from locals regarding the reported plan on Sept. 28.

The office will coordinate with the Riau Natural Resources Conservation Agency to follow up on the pangolins.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified them as critically endangered, one rank below extinct in the wild.