Malaysia: Ex-Cop Jailed for Pangolin Smuggling and Cruelty

An ex-cop identified as Muhammad Norazzuan Ahmad Zahari received a jail sentence in Malaysia for attempting to smuggle 18 pangolins out of the country. Photo © Rhishja Cota-Larson / Annamiticus

A former policeman is serving a one-year prison sentence for keeping 18 pangolins in plastic bags without food or water in the trunk of his car, and attempting to smuggle them out of Malaysia.

The smuggler was identified as Muhammad Norazzuan Ahmad Zahari, who was arrested on September 22nd, 2012, according to the New Straits Times. He was sentenced by Judge Mohd Rosli Osman in the town of Alor Setar after pleading guilty to four charges.

1) Section 86(1)(b)(c) (f) of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010: Keeping the 18 pangolins in the trunk of his car at Bukit Kayu Hitam;

2) Section 68 (1) (a) of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 (Act 716): Keeping five pangolins in the same place on the same day;

3) Section 69 (1) (a) of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 (Act 716): Keeping seven immature pangolins in the same place and day;

4) Section 70 (1) (a) of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 (Act 716): Keeping six female pangolins in the same place and day.

The judge handed down six months for the first count, eight months for the second, ten for the third and twelve for the fourth. However, Muhammad Norazzuan was ordered to serve the time concurrently from the date of his arrest.

Based on seizure numbers, an estimated 60,000 pangolins were victims of the illegal trade in 2012.


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Rhishja Cota-Larson

I am the founder of Annamiticus, and I work as an independent Wildlife Trade and Communication Design Consultant. I have journeyed to the streets of Hanoi to research the illegal wildlife trade, and to the rainforests of Sumatra and Java to document the world’s rarest rhinos. I am a Co-Chair of the SSN Pangolin Working Group. At CITES meetings, I collaborate with colleagues from around the world to lobby in favor of protecting endangered species. I am a Wildlife Trade and Trafficking Consultant for the upcoming documentary The Price, the host of Behind the Schemes and author of the book Murder, Myths & Medicine. I enjoy desert gardening, herping, reading, designing, and walking with my dogs.