Two Vietnamese poachers saw their killing spree brought to a grinding halt when they were arrested in the Terengganu National Park yesterday.
Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar said the two suspects, aged 25 and 29, were detained at Hulu Sungai Tersat in the Terengganu National Park in Hulu Terengganu under Ops Belang.
They were also found with the body parts of wild animals, including tigers, bears and wild boars, valued at an estimated RM600,000.
“They have lived in the jungle for more than four months, based on the entry records in their passports,” Xavier told a press conference after the arrests, adding that the duo is believed to have trapped at least two tigers, two panthers, three bears and 12 wild boars using wire snares.
The Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) believes the men to be involved in a wildlife hunting syndicate.
They were found with seven packages, one gunny sack containing the parts of wild animals as well as 30 bones, but they could not identify the types of animals which were caught.
“We will carry out deoxyribonucleic (DNA) acid tests on the bones and body parts and the results will be known as early as in three days’ time,” Xavier said.
He believes that the suspects were assisted by two more syndicate members and he ruled out the involvement of locals in the syndicate.
“The suspects could not communicate with us during interrogation and we had to use the services of a translator,” Xavier said, adding that Perhilitan would carry out investigations based on the record of calls and messages from the suspects’ mobile phones.
The suspects have been remanded for three days in Kuala Berang to assist in investigations under the Terengganu National Park Enactment (No 39) for trespassing into the National Park, he said.
They will also be investigated for hunting and storing wildlife without permission from Perhilitan under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 and Section 29 (Act 716) for possession of snares, Xavier added.