By Sean Whyte
A further 385 African elephants have been slaughtered to provide 770 tusks for the illegal trade in ivory. Alert customs officials in Kenya recently managed to spot this contraband hidden among dried fish. Documents accompanying the ivory shipment showed it was destined for Malaysia.
You might well ask why is Malaysia such a favoured hub or destination for the illegal wildlife traffickers? Might it be because of lax customs inspections? Could it be there is a ‘Mr Big’ in the illegal wildlife trade based in Malaysia, known or otherwise to the authorities but untouchable?
Is it because the Malaysian authorities are asleep on the job, their convenient ability to look the other way, or could it simply be sheer incompetence on their part? How many criminals have been prosecuted for the previous shipments of ivory actually discovered in Malaysia? I think you will find it’s somewhere between nil and zero. How can that be?
Irrespective of the tens of thousands of elephants gunned down or poisoned each year to supply this vile industry, regardless of the fact INTERPOL has said the illegal wildlife industry is inextricably linked to illegal the drugs and arms trades, Malaysia is time and again shown to be a favourite port of call for the ivory traders.
Perhilitan are clearly reluctant to confirm or deny ivory from a previous confiscation was given away or gone missing while under their supervision. Why do you think Perhilitan makes no comment? Does this tell us anything about Perhilitan, why ivory shipments are sent to Malaysia and why no one is arrested or prosecuted?
The government should hang its head in shame for permitting Malaysia to continue to be exploited by those criminals profiting from the slaughter of elephants and other species.
The writer is CEO of Nature Alert