Bruneian to be charged in Miri for smuggling wildlife

National 1 minute, 8 seconds

MIRI

SARAWAK’S Forestry Department (FDS) will charge only one of the two Bruneians detained last Friday for allegedly smuggling a young clouded leopard across the border, said their enforcement section yesterday.

A representative of the department said the charge will be levelled against the defendant before the court tomorrow in Miri, with the other detainee being released and will now serve as a witness to the case.

“There is only one suspect that will face the charges (of smuggling the clouded leopard). Investigations are still ongoing at the moment,” said the official who declined to be named.

The case was the result of an undercover operation from the Sarawak side after the sale of the protected, rare animal was being advertised on social media by a Brunei user, with a price tag in the region of $5,000.

The captured wild cat, known scientifically as neofelis nebulosa, is still alive, with FDS believing it to have originated from Brunei.

The capture of clouded leopards is illegal in Brunei, and is punishable under the country’s Wildlife Act with a fine of $2,000 and a year of imprisonment, while exporting — a separate offence — carries the same punishment.

If the Bruneian is found guilty in Malaysia, they could face a jail term of up to two years and a fine of RM 25,000 under Section 29 (c) of Malaysia's Wildlife Protection Ordinance 1998.

The Brunei Times