Man arrested for smuggling birds

Man arrested for smuggling birds
40 White-Rumped Sharma birds which were found stuffed inside two plastic baskets.

JOHOR BARU - The state National Parks and Wildlife Department (Perhilitan) together with the enforcement team from Kuala Lumpur managed to confiscate 40 white-rumped shama birds and detained a man who trying to illegally smuggle or sell them.

State Perhilitan director Hasnan Yusop said that the man, in his 40's was nabbed at around 11.30pm along Jalan Terminal Larkin here on March 31.

"We had been following him for quite some time and finally took him in when we got concrete evidence suggesting that he was trying to smuggle the birds," he said when contacted on Tuesday.

Hasnan added that the white-rumped Shama was a favourite among bird enthusiasts as it had a beautiful singing voice and could be sold from between RM300 (S$115) to RM7,000 (S$2,700) each.

"The birds are however a protected species under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010," he said adding that during the raid, the 40 birds were found cooped up in two plastic baskets which were placed in the car's boot.

He said that the department was still questioning the man and he was temporarily being held at the Ayer Molek detention centre here.

"We believe that the birds were captured at the forests outside of the state and were going to be sold to the local market in Johor or smuggled to neighbouring countries," he said.

He added that the department was serious about clamping down on animal smuggling activities and said that those found guilty could face a fine of between RM20,000 to RM50,000 or a jail term or not more than three years or both.

"We hope that those with information pertaining to animal smuggling activities can relay the information to the department for further action," he said

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