PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has busted an international trafficking syndicate that had been involved in the smuggling of pangolin scales.
According to a source in the anti-graft agency, the syndicate was also believed to have bribed enforcement officers as well as carried out money laundering activities.
The source said MACC’s anti-money laundering division conducted raids at premises in Klang, Selangor, and Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
“This operation was conducted following information received from US enforcement agencies as well as intel from the United Kingdom and Hong Kong,” the source said.
Almost two tonnes of pangolin scales, worth about RM23.4 million, were seized during the raid in Klang while several luxury cars linked to the syndicate were seized in Kuala Lumpur.
The source added that seven individuals have been detained. Aged between 30 and 59 years, they included foreign nationals from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal.
Following the arrests, magistrate A Karthiyayini granted an application from MACC to remand three of the suspects for four days and another suspect for two days.
Meanwhile, MACC anti-money laundering division director Zamri Zainul Abidin confirmed the arrests and said the case is being investigated under Section 17(a) of the MACC Act and Section 4(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act.