12 January 2019 :
An illegal shipment of five (5) live baby crocodiles has been discovered at Sibu Airport.
SARAWAK FORESTRY Corporation (SFC) Sibu Regional Office’s received two white boxes, consisted of 5 baby crocodiles, surrendered by a courier service company.
According to the management of the courier company, they received the package on 2 January 2019 for Sibu to West Malaysia shipment and the sender had declared the package containing fishes. Few days later, they were informed by the customs officers that crocodiles were detected in the package instead.
SARAWAK FORESTRY Corporation officers have tried to contact the sender via the shipping details but failed which came as no surprise. A police report has been lodged at Sibu Police Station for further investigation.
Crocodiles are protected in Sarawak under the Wild Life Protection Ordinance, 1998. A maximum fine of RM10,000.00 and a year jail will be imposed if one is found guilty of hunting, killing, keeping, selling or eating a protected animal. Nonetheless, crocodiles in the state are now categorized under Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) which allows sustainable harvesting of crocodiles from the wild for trade provided license or permit is first obtained from the authority concerned.
Chief Executive Officer of SFCSB, Haji Zolkipli Mohamad Aton extended its gratitude to Sarawak Customs Department and the courier service company for their effort in preventing protected species from being smuggled out of Sarawak and call on the public to assist by informing SFC of any offences to wildlife. SFC hotlines at the various regions are reachable at 019-8859996 (Kuching), 018-9799778 (Miri), 019-8223449 (Bintulu) and 019-8883561(Sibu).