Suspects in pygmy elephant case held for 2 more days

The bullet-ridden carcass of a bull pygmy elephant was found on a riverbank in Kalabakan, Tawau, on Sept 26.

TAWAU: Six people suspected of involvement in the killing of a pygmy bull elephant are to be remanded for two more days, district police chief Peter Umbuas said today.

Their four-day remand ended today. “All the suspects, aged between 48 and 68 years, comprising five local men and one illegal immigrant, will have their remand extended tomorrow morning to enable police to complete their investigation under the Firearms Act,” he said.

Umbuas said that the Wildlife Department would take further action if the police investigation is completed within the remand period. The department will apply to re-arrest the suspects for investigation under the Wildlife Conservation Enactment

All the suspects were arrested between 12.20am and 12.30pm on Wednesday in Felda Umas and Ladang Dumpas. They were believed to be involved in the killing of the elephant and the illegal acquisition of its tusks.

Police seized five guns, including three homemade shotguns (bakakuk), 53 bullet shell casings, 59 live ammunition and two elephant tusks hidden in Felda Umas cooperative’s farm near here.

The carcass of the bull elephant was found on Sept 26, and a post-mortem examination revealed it had suffered 70 bullet wounds and one to the head. Its tusks had been removed but were recovered by police on Wednesday.