The Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) has arrested eight airline passengers suspected to be accomplices of a wildlife smuggling syndicate.
A statement issued by the Water, Land and Natural Resources Ministry today said all of them were charged in court for committing offences under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 (Act 716).
Through its Operation Dragon, Perhilitan also issued an Interpol Red Notice against one of the accomplices involved in trafficking tortoises from India to Malaysia.
According to the statement, the India-based-syndicate is involved in wildlife trafficking network using passenger luggage to smuggle wildlife.
The syndicate uses various airlines from India to Malaysia and transits the animals to other countries using multiple modes of transportation.
Operation Dragon, a special enforcement force targeting the smuggling syndicates of freshwater turtles and tortoises, is an international collaboration between the Wildlife Justice Commission, Perhilitan, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau India and Interpol.
The collaborative task force carries out intelligence activities, analyses information, conducts investigations and enforcement.
The ministry said that through Perhilitan, it is also committed to combat wildlife smuggling networks, collaborating with enforcement agencies such as police and Customs, Interpol and local and foreign NGOs.