ALOR GAJAH – The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) thwarted an attempt to smuggle about 300 birds of endangered species into Indonesia at 4.97 nautical miles off Tanjung Gabang, Selangor, yesterday.
Melaka/Negeri Sembilan MMEA director Maritime Captain Amran Daud attributed the success to information received from the public on smuggling of endangered birds through the Straits of Melaka.
Following investigation, he said, a MMEA vessel on patrol in the area spotted a boat heading out of a neighbouring country’s territorial waters.
“Upon realising the presence of the MMEA personnel, the boat skipper and three crew, all Indonesians, threw the bird cages into the sea,” he said in a statement here today.
Amran said the MMEA personnel were able to retrieve only 279 birds which were thrown into the and only three were alive.
As for the Indonesian skipper and his crew, aged between 38 and 55, he said, they were detained after failing to produce valid personal documents.
Amran said the birds were believed to have been smuggled from Vietnam by land into Thailand, and also Malaysia, as transit centres, before smuggled to Indonesia.
The birds are endangered species and protected under the World Wildlife Foundation and one of them is “burung Branjangan” or the Horsfield Bush Lark, he said.
He said the case had been handed over to the Wildlife Department for further action. – BERNAMA