Customs seize imported pangolin scales worth RM3.6 million in KLIA

Paddy-Abd-Halim-pangolinSEPANG: Customs officers have foiled an attempt to smuggle 288kg of pangolin scales valued at RM3.69 million from Ghana to Malaysia.

They seized 12 boxes of the scales at the air cargo warehouse in the Free Trade Zone of the KL International Airport on June 9, Customs assistant director-general (enforcement) Paddy Abd Halim said here today.

He said the consignment was marked as oyster shells in the airway bill and was bound for a destination in Ampang, Selangor, which turned out to be false address.

“The boxes of scales were flown in by Turkish Airlines from Ghana, with KLIA as the final flight destination,” he said, adding that this was the third case of seizure of pangolin scales this year.

Paddy said the import of pangolin scales was prohibited unless with a permit obtained from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks.

He also said that the scales were listed as prohibited goods under the Third Schedule of the International Trade in Endangered Species Act 2008 unless a permit had been obtained.

The case is being investigated under Section 135(1)(a) of the Customs Act 1967 pertaining to the import of prohibited goods, and provides for a fine of between 10 and 20 times of the value of the goods or a jail term of up to three years, or both, upon conviction.