Malaysia authorities in the dark over Lizard King's return

Malaysia authorities in the dark over Lizard King's return
Confrontation: A still from the film Return of the Lizard King showing Wong being asked about his business activities.

PETALING JAYA - The Malaysian authorities are apparently in the hot seat as a new investigative film has revealed that convicted wildlife trafficker Anson Wong is back in business.

Posing as interested buyers, Al Jazeera's 101 East presenter Steve Chao and his team conducted a year-long investigation which took them to Madagascar, Indonesia and Malaysia as they sought to infiltrate Wong's network.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri G. Palanivel told Chao that he was unaware of Wong's infamy.

"I do not know who this person is. I have never come across him. Only today was I told of this chap," he said at the time of the interview.

However, he added that the ministry had done right in cancelling Wong's business licences and permits.

He said that he would not know if Wong had resumed his activities as people could do things illegally without the ministry's knowledge.

Asked whether he would go after top-level officials if they were suspected to be Wong's accomplices, Palanivel said: "I won't know, because sometimes things can go without my knowledge."

However, he said he would look into it if anyone was found to be corrupt or accept bribes.

Chao and his team discovered an enclosure housing Serval cats from North Africa when they did a scouting trip to Wong's Penang residence.

Posing as an interested buyer, he also visited Wong's wife Cheah Bing Shee in her office where she told him: "We also import animals for sale, including skunks and other creatures."

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