PGA 11TH BATTALION FOILS ATTEMPT TO SMUGGLE SONGBIRDS INTO INDONESIA

AHMAD SYABIL SULTAN NOORDIN AHMAD

KUCHING, Jan 7 (Bernama) — The 11th Battalion of the General Operations Force (PGA) here thwarted an attempt to smuggle 1,060 pelimang (magpie robin) and murai batu (white-rumped shama) worth RM855,000 into Indonesia yesterday.

Unit commanding officer, Supt Rosdi Inai, said a 39-year-old Indonesian woman who confessed to ownership of the songbirds was detained at an illegal border crossing in the Tebedu district, southwest Sarawak, at 1pm during ‘Op Bersepadu Khazanah’.

“A 30-year-old local man was also arrested for trying to bribe a public official with RM7,000 to not take any action against them,” he said in a press conference today.

He said 11 PGA officers and members, four Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) officers and four Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers were involved in the operation.

“According to intelligence, the protected birds were headed for a neighbouring country where there is high demand for them and they can command a high price, too,” Rosdi said.

He said the case has been handed over to SFC for investigation under section 29 of the Wildlife Protection Ordinance 1998 which carries a fine of RM10,000 and a one-year jail sentence if convicted.

“MACC will be conducting an investigation into the bribery offence under section 17 (b) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 which carries fine of not less than five times the sum of the bribe or RM10,000, whichever is higher, or up to 20 years' jail if convicted,” he said.

-- BERNAMA

 

TAGS: Magpie robin, white-rumped shama, Kuching, Tebedu, MACC, Op Bersepadu Khazanah, illegal border crossing, PGA, SFC