The KL International Airport (KLIA) Customs Department seized 159kg of smuggled ivory tusk worth RM1.59 million on two separate occasions and arrested two Vietnamese nationals.
KLIA Customs director Datuk Chik Omar Chik Lim said in the first case, Customs officers seized about 101kg or 18 pieces, of ivory tusk hidden in four luggage bags.
“We managed to intercept the smuggling attempts into our country based on surveillance and intelligence,” he said in a press conference today, adding that this is the first seizure of the banned tusks for this year.
He said the haul was discovered on Feb 26 at 6pm when the duo, aged 25 and 41, went through scanner inspection and the image produced raised the officer’s suspicions.
Upon inspection, the tusks were found wrapped and hidden in the luggage bag.
“We believe the suspects with the RM1,010,000 worth of tusks were traveling from Angola where one of the suspect has two travel records to Malaysia,” Chik Omar added.
The suspects have been remanded and the case is being investigated under Section 135(1)(d) Customs Act 1967 for knowingly harbouring or procuring prohibited items.
In the second case, customs officers confiscated 58kg of tusks worth RM580,000 hidden in two bags destined to Hanoi.
“The bags were discovered by the officers on the same day at 9pm where some tusks were wrapped in whole and some in pieces.
“We are in the midst of identifying the owner of the bags,” he said.
It is learnt that the tusks seized were destined for Asian countries and Malaysia was used as a transit hub.