Malaysian officials on Monday said more than $2 million worth of scales from pangolins, one of the world’s most poached animals, were seized earlier this month at Kuala Lumpur Airport, the largest haul ever seen in the country.
Officials say the first lot was shipped from Ghana and sent to Malaysia on an Emirates flight via Dubai, and the second was first shipped from Congo to Kenya on a Kenya Airways flight.
And then transferred onto an Emirates flight and shipped to Malaysia via Dubai,
Assistant Director general, Malaysia Customs Department, Paddy Abdul Halim said they inspected the sacks (from the first shipment) and, after checking, found 408 kilogram of pangolin scales with an estimated value of 5.3 million ringgit ($1.2 million).
“We carried out our investigation and found that the manifest stated the shipment as a “general product” and used a fake address,” he added.
Malaysia is a major transit point for the trade in endangered species to other Asian countries.
“For the second seizure, we inspected the sacks (from the second shipment) and, after checking, we found 304 kilogram of pangolin scales with an estimated value of 3.9 million ringgit ($900.000),” Halim said.
He noted that they carried out their investigation and found that the manifest stated the shipment as “dry herbs” and also used a fake address.
No suspects have been detained, and it is still unclear whether Malaysia was the final destination for the scales.