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Anson Wong is the kingpin of illegal wildlife trade

Anson Wong has been operating his wildlife trading empire from Penang under the protection of Perhilitan for last two decades. His modus operandi was discovered in the January 2010 issue of National Geographic magazine in early this year.

Malaysia is not just the center of power corruption in the SEA, our country is also a center for illegal wildlife trade under Anson Wong and Perhilitan.

PR government did support a proposal from this fella for building a tiger park in Penang as his back door for laundering his illegal animal trading business.

Smugglers and poachers generate RM90bil a year

MIRI: Illegal wildlife traders in Asean nations, including Malaysia, are making a killing – literally.

A whopping US$30bil (RM90bil) in black money is generated annually from the poaching and smuggling of endangered wildlife and animal parts in countries in South-East Asia, according to the latest figures compiled by regional and international wildlife agencies.

This shocking statistics is being tabled for discussion among wildlife enforcement agencies of Asean member countries, the US-AID, European Commission and Asean Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) in Thailand.

Representatives are currently in Khao Yai National Park to attend the first Asean regional course on wildlife protection and enforcement, which began on Monday.

The course, which will last until Oct 16, is jointly organised by Asean-Wildlife Enforcement Network (Asean-Wen), US-AID, EC and ACB. The main US-AID implementing partner with Asean is Freeland Foundation.

The foundation is an international organisation investigating the wildlife trade and it provides training to conserve natural habitats and build local capacity to protect critical ecosystems.

Freeland Foundation media liaison officer Pornvadee Piyakhun said via e-mail yesterday that senior wildlife department officers from all Asean countries were at the course.

“This is the first-ever Asean operational training course for rangers throughout Asean countries and from Bhutan. The course is a means to drastically improve the security and protection of our ecosystem in Asean.

“We are coming up with better patrolling and better environment management systems because the remaining natural ecosystems in South-East Asia are facing serious threats from poaching and illegal forest clearings,” he said.

“This region is a major source of animals for those involved in the illicit trade of wildlife and animal parts. These illegal traders are supplying a global market and their trade is worth between US$10bil to US$30bil (RM30bil to RM90bil) annually in the black market.”

Meanwhile, the Asean-Wen secretariat in Bangkok e-mailed to The Star the latest regional statistics concerning seizures in Asean countries.

Last month alone, more than 1.5 tonnes of tiger and elephant parts, tiger and leopard skins, ivory tusks, gall bladders and other wildlife were seized in Vietnam.

In Cambodia, more than 500kg of endangered animal parts were seized, more than 1,000 rare tortoises were confiscated alive in Thailand, 422 live clouded monitor lizards rescued from poachers in Johor, and in Singapore, three men were arrested for auctioning tiger parts, tiger skins and hedgehogs via the Internet.

Asean-Wen also managed to stop an attempt to smuggle endangered oriental birds from Changi Airport in Singapore to Indonesia.

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