Malaysiakini
NEWS

Why more bite force is needed to fight wildlife cybercrimes

Darshini Kandasamy

Published
Modified 13 Feb 2020, 9:14 am

SPECIAL REPORT | You’re online and the large round eyes of a sun bear cub look back at you. It’s adorable, and you think "if I could reach into my smartphone, I could just scoop this little fella up".

But read the caption below and you realise, while you can’t reach into the screen, you can most certainly text the number listed, pay several thousand ringgit and the cub is yours. You wouldn’t even need to fly all the way to Borneo. Just one problem, the sun bear is a protected species.

Enter the world of illegal online wildlife trading, where protected and often endangered wildlife, or their parts, are available at your fingertips, almost as fast as your internet speed would allow.

It’s a lucrative business. While the exact value of illicit wildlife trade on the internet is hard to track, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimates the global wildlife trafficking industry, online and off, to be worth up to US$23 billion (RM93.6 billion) annually...

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