KENINGAU: The Wildlife Department detained seven suspects and seized 717 kilograms of wild boar meat and two four-wheel drive vehicles (4WD) in two separate joint operations with the police here on Wednesday.
Its deputy director Augustine Tuuga yesterday said the suspects were suspected illegal hunters or poaches as they did not have a valid commercial hunting licence issued by the department.
He said in the first case, the department’s 11-member enforcement team led by Benedict Jani and two policemen detained five suspects and also seized a 4WD as well as 495 kgs of wild boar meat found inside the vehicle at a road block along Keningau-Sook Road at 2am on Wednesday.
In a follow-up road block along Keningau-Apin-Apin Road at 10am on the same day, the enforcement team seized 222 kgs of wild boar meat and one 4WD and also detained two suspects.
Tuuga said all seven suspects, aged between 39 and 51, were being detained further to assist the department in its investigation under Section 41 (2) of the Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997.
“The success of the arrest of suspects was the result of information from the public,” he said.
He advised all hunters to comply with the law by taking a hunting licence valid for hunting from his department.
“The public are also advised to buy the meat of animals protected under the law from premises which have valid permits to sell the meat of such animals.
Traders are also reminded to buy meat of protected wildlife from legitimate licensed hunters in order to combat poaching,” said Tuuga, adding that the department’s wildlife crime information hotline is 012 801 9289.