Businessman freed of trying to trade in RM100 mil pangolin scales

The 227 sacks of pangolin scales, found in two containers at a port in 2017, were said to be worth more than RM100 million.

KOTA KINABALU: A businessman was acquitted today of a charge of attempting to trade in pangolin scales worth more than RM100 million.

Sessions judge Elsie Primus acquitted and discharged Chai Kok Hiong, 44, after ruling that the prosecution had failed to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt.

Chai was accused of attempting to export 227 sacks of pangolin scales, weighing 8,058.5kg and valued at RM100,570,080, found in two containers in Sepanggar Port near here in 2017.

Twenty-seven prosecution and one defence witnesses were called during the hearing.

The charge was framed under Section 135(1)(a) of the Customs Act 1967 and punishable under Section 135(1)(iii)(aa) of the same Act. It carries a jail term of up to three years, or a fine of between 10 and 20 times the value of the goods seized, or both, on conviction.

DPP Nadia Isa prosecuted while counsel Korvent E Jomiji appeared for Chai.

The prosecution notified the court that it would appeal the decision in the High Court.

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