Probe into smuggling of elephant tusks
Published on: Tuesday, December 17, 2019
By: Lagatah Toyos
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TAWAU: The police and the Wildlife Department will conduct a joint investigation into the case of seizure of four elephant tusks in Nunukan, Indonesia, allegedly brought there from Tawau by a 51-year-old man. 

Tawau Police Chief ACP Peter Umbuas said they have yet to receive any detailed information pertaining to the case, but have set an appointment with the Wildlife Department to discuss a joint probe.

“We have yet to determine the source of the elephant tusks, whether they are from Tawau, Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan or elsewhere,” he told reporters at the Tawau police headquarters, here, Monday. 

According to him, he had personally attended a Task Force Special Meeting last week on matters related to wildlife and the case was also raised, including the claim that the elephant tusks were brought into Indonesia from Tawau. 

Indonesian media had recently reported the detention of a man at the Tunon Taka Port in Nunukan on suspicion of smuggling in four elephant tusks from Tawau. 

The suspect, a resident of Nunukan, was nabbed following the discovery of the elephant tusks during an inspection on passenger goods from Tawau.  

A statement from the Republic of Indonesia Consulate (KRI) here said they are ready to share information with the Sabah Government once a detailed probe, including the modus operandi and networks associated with the case, is completed. 

In the statement, the KRI also said Indonesian authorities are constantly monitoring offences and cross-border crime activities, especially smuggling.

“Efforts to curb cross-border crimes need collaboration between Malaysia and Indonesia,” it said. Six Borneo pygmy elephant deaths have been reported in Sabah since Sept 15, in which elephant tusks were also reported missing. 

Only two tusks involving the case in Dumpas Kalabakan were recovered. 

Earlier, Umbuas witnessed the handing over of duties between ASP Cheong Soon Yew and DSP Mursalin Mahmud as the District Criminal Investigation Department head.

Mursalin, who previously served in the criminal investigation department of Papar police headquarters, said this was his 14th transfer in the police force.



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