Johor police, Perhilitan nab six for illegal poaching, possession of homemade firearms

Johor Police Chief Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay speaks during a press conference in Johor Baru September 17, 2020. — Bernama pic
Johor Police Chief Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay speaks during a press conference in Johor Baru September 17, 2020. — Bernama pic

JOHOR BARU, Nov 4 — Six men have been arrested by the authorities for being involved in illegal poaching activities, as well as possessing homemade firearms in several raids in the state under the Ops Khazanah operation here recently.

Johor police chief Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said the raids, involving police and the Johor Wildlife Department (Perhilitan), were carried out between October 21 and yesterday.

In the latest raid last night on a farm in Ladang Landak in Paloh near Kluang at 11.40pm, he said police arrested a 57-year-old man and confiscated body parts of an exotic animal.

“We found a deer in the pot as well as what is believed to be the claws of a tiger.

“We also seized four homemade firearms, 95 live ammunition and two mobile phones,” Ayob Khan said during a press conference at the Johor police contingent headquarters here today.

Present was Johor Criminal Investigations Department (CID) chief Datuk Md Yusof Ahmad and the state Perhilitan director Salman Saaban.

On October 21, during the start of the joint operation, personnel from the Kluang district police headquarters and the Johor Perhilitan’s southern zone mounted a joint operation at a house in Taman Seri Jaya in Kluang.

Ayob Khan said during the 3.45pm operation, the raiding team arrested a 31-year-old man at the house for being involved in illegal hunting activities.

“The team also confiscated three homemade air rifles, 10 green bore shotgun bullets, 10 copper bore bullets and three bullets suspected to be laden with sedatives.

“At the same time, the team also confiscated two long machetes, a deer head used as a trophy, two musang pandan, two monkeys, four Bayan birds and two Parakeet birds which were all placed in different cages,” he said.

Meanwhile, in a separate operation on the same day at 12am, Ayob Khan said police detained three men, aged between 22 and 51, in Taman Seri Jaya, Pekan Nenas and at a farm in Pulai, Kulai.

“[The police] seized three homemade air rifles, an electric saw, a meat shredder, a vernier caliper, scales, two containers of iron bearings and the tails of wildlife carcasses suspected to be wild chickens,” he said.

As a result of further investigation, Ayob Khan said another raid was carried out at 2.30pm on October 25 where the authorities arrested a 32-year-old man in Taman Seri Jaya, Kluang for being involved in the same case.

He said all of the suspects were being investigated under Section 36 of the Weapons Act 1960, Section 69 of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010, Section 8(a) of the Weapons Act 1960 and Section 60(1) of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010.

In August, Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar on his official Facebook page had expressed anger over poaching activities that are still going on in the state forests, including Endau Rompin, Mersing and Kahang.

Following that, Ayob Khan and the state Perhilitan have actively cracked down on exotic animal hunting and illegal use of firearms in Johor.