Scorpion Foundation and the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF)’s Law Enforcement Agency busted pangolin trade of international wildlife trade syndicate in Borneo. In a joint press conference of the MoEF’s agency and Scorpion Foundation today, David Muhammad from the Agency revealed that his agency arrested 2 persons and confiscated 200 kilograms of pangolin meat utilising information from Scorpion Foundation.
In addition to the confiscation of 200 kilograms of pangolin meat (consist of frozen 40 individuals), the agency also seized 1 pangolin (alive), 1 stuffed pangolin, 1 kilogram of pangolin scales, 1 grilled mouse-deer, and 4 grilled squirrels. Two alleged traders were arrested but only one is becoming a suspect while another one serves as a witness (not detained).
According to David, pangolin trade in West Kalimantan is organised by a syndicate with extensive network as they can collect pangolins from remote areas in West Kalimantan and export them abroad via Jakarta and Sarawak. “This arrest should become a warning to others because we will keep chasing people who still do this kind of illegal wildlife trade,” David stated.
Meanwhile the Director of Scorpion Foundation, Gunung Gea said: “The policy of President Joko Widodo to establish a new Directorate General for Law Enforcement at the MoEF already begins to show results. With the establishment of the new Director General, law enforcement against the wildlife crimes seems to run effectively and has produced results everywhere in Indonesia.”
Senior Investigator of Scorpion Foundation, Marison Guciano said: “West Kalimantan is one of the biggest suppliers of pangolin to the illegal black market in Indonesia.
The area along the border between Indonesia and Malaysia (Sarawak) is the main route of the illegal trade of pangolins. There are many walkways along the border causing it difficult to control. The traders generally hide pangolin scales below other crops such as pepper for sale in Sarawak," he said.”
Scorpion Foundation started investigating pangolin trade in Borneo since March of this year by first sending its Senior Investigator to travel from Kuching (Malaysia) to Pontianak (West Kalimantan). The investigator made 2 follow up visits to Borneo for further investigation of pangolin trade. The arrest yesterday (Wednesday, 26/10) was the second success story. Previously, the investigation of Scorpion Foundation also helped the agency to arrest an orangutan skull trader in Singkawang, West Kalimantan.