USING FACEBOOK, POSLAJU LATEST MODUS OPERANDI TO SMUGGLE ANIMAL PARTS

16 Jul 2013 07:54

KUALA LUMPUR, July 14 (Bernama) -- Using social networking sites such as Facebook as well as poslaju service was found to be the latest modus operandi for smuggling animal parts into the country.

Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan)'s Enforcement Division director, Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim said the trend of using such advanced technology was to avoid detection of the illegal business transactions by the enforcement authorities.

He said this also gave smugglers the opportunity to expand their business networks and redouble their profits.

"The modus operandi always changes. If before, smugglers used lorries, motorcycles and cars to carry out their illegal activities, now they are using Facebook and poslaju to bring in the animal parts," he told Bernama.

Abdul Kadir said any parts of wildlife smuggled in had special uses, such as ivory (from elephants) used as ornaments and pangolin scales to cure illnesses.

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He said statistics from Perhilitan showed there were 30 recorded smuggling cases involving the use of Facebook and 20 cases via poslaju from January to June, this year.

"Among the wildlife popular with smugglers via online purchases are leopard cats, snakes and white-rumped shama. Dealings via online are quite difficult to be traced," he said.

On syndicates using the poslaju service, Abdul Kadir said the smugglers tried to avoid detection by sending the packages, for instance, from country A to country B, before the packages reached Malaysia.

"When the packages are scanned, then only the smuggling of exotic animal parts such as ivory can be detected," he said.

Thus, Abdul Kadir stressed that wildlife smuggling-related crime could be eradicated only with the cooperation of various parties including the Customs Department, Anti-Smuggling Unit and Royal Malaysian Police.

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