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MYS Press x2: Lizard smuggler nabbed

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Posted by: W von Papineu at Tue Mar 1 06:09:43 2011  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by W von Papineu ]  
   

NEW STRAITS TIMES (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) 22 February 11 Man caught with RM100,000 geckos
Johor Baru: A man in his 40s was arrested for allegedly smuggling in five geckos worth RM100,000 at the Stulang Laut ferry terminal here on Sunday.
Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services (Maqis) deputy director Siti Nur Ahmad said a joint raid was conducted by the agency and Customs Department on a ferry that arrived from Batam at 7pm.
"The suspect from Batam pretended to be carrying clothing in a box. However, a scan conducted at the jetty revealed five geckos weighing 1.5kg each kept in plastic bottles."
There were no permits for the reptiles. Siti Nur said the suspect may belong to a syndicate which sold the exotic animal in the black market.
The protected species, known locally as "tokek", had received a lot of publicity as researchers found its saliva may be used to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
It is believed once a gecko reaches 350g, it produces an enzyme that could treat HIV. There are no conclusive results to back this.
Siti Nur said the latest case was the second committed by the same syndicate in the past year.
She said the seized geckos were healthy and would be sent to the Wildlife and National Parks Department.
http://www.nst.com.my/nst/articles/4gko/Article/

THE STAR (Petaling Jaya, Mayalsia) 22 February 11 Lizard smuggler nabbed at checkpoint (Austin Camoens)
Photo at URL below: Lizard in the bottle: Siti Nur showing one of the five Tucktoo lizards seized by officials at the Stulang Laut ferry terminal on Sunday.
Johor Baru: A 40-year-old man’s attempt to smuggle five Tucktoo lizards (tokek) worth an estimated RM85,000 was thwarted by authorities here.
The man, an Indonesian national, was detained at the Customs and Immigration checkpoint here at the Stulang Laut Ferry terminal at about 6.30pm on Sunday.
State Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services (Maqis) deputy director Siti Nur Ahmad said initial investigations had found that the lizards were brought in through Batam, Indonesia and were hidden in five bottles that were stored inside a box.
“The suspect came into the country via a ferry on a visitor’s pass. An X-ray scanner spotted the smuggled reptiles when the man brought his luggage through the checkpoint,” she told a press conference yesterday.
She said further investigations revealed that the lizards were meant for sale here. A single lizard could be sold for as much as RM35,000 due to its supposedly medicinal properties.
“The lizards had to be seized as one needs to have permits to bring animals into the country,” Siti Nur said, adding that this was the first time someone had attempted to smuggle animals through the checkpoint here.
She said the man had since been released, and the lizards would be handed over to the Department of Wildlife and National Parks in accordance with the Wildlife Conservation Act.
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/2/22/nation/8112670&sec=nation


   

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