A Bornean Clouded Leopard, found only on Borneo and Indonesia’s Sumatra, is seen in the Deramakot Forest Reserve in Malaysia’s Sabah state, November 6, 2017. Photo by Reuters/Michael Gordon
A Malaysian court has fined two Vietnamese men $390,000 for illegal possession of leopard, bear and boar parts.
The fine of MYR1.56 million is the highest fine ever levied for poaching in Malaysian history, the U.K.-based wildlife conservation organization TRAFFIC reported.
The court also sentenced Hoang Van Viet, 29, and Nguyen Van Thiet, 26, to jail for two years for “illegal use of snares, illegal possession of totally protected species as well as protected species.”
The duo would have to spend an additional 16 years in jail if they failed to pay the fines, the court ruled.
The two men were discovered with 141 wildlife animal parts and 22 snares on April 15 by Malaysia’s Wildlife and National Parks Department on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
Media reports said the department believed the individual parts belonged to at least two leopards, three sun bears, and 12 wild boars.
The case shows Malaysia is scoring early success in its recently announced attempt to curb poaching, particularly of the Malayan tiger, TRAFFIC said.
This is the second time that Vietnamese citizens have been arrested for animal poaching in Malaysia this year.
Last month, two Vietnamese men, aged 25 and 29, were arrested for possession of claws and teeth from the Malayan tiger. They also had teeth and claws from bears, teeth from wild boars, as well as hunting equipment including machetes, axes and wire for setting traps.
Malaysia is home to swathes of jungle and a wide range of wildlife including elephants, orangutans and tigers, but these animals are frequently targeted by poachers.