Two-year jail sentence in Malaysia's biggest tiger part smuggling case20/02/2013 12:47:37 Ridiculous light sentence for major tiger part trafficker
February 2013. A court case involving Malaysia's biggest ever seizure of trafficked Tiger parts has resulted in the conviction of a 29-year old man, who was sentenced to a total 60 months in prison. However Mohd Nor Shahrizam Nasir, found guilty on two charges of illegal possession of Tiger parts and one for possession of African Elephant ivory, will only serve 24 months in jail as the judge ordered that his sentences run concurrently.
No fine after being caught with 8 tiger skins and 9 elephant tusks
Mohd Nor Shahrizam, from northern Peninsular Malaysia was handed down a sentence of 24 months each on the charges of keeping the eight Tiger skins, and the 22 Tiger skulls and bones. He received a further 12-month jail term on the third charge of keeping African Elephant tusks.
TRAFFIC welcomed the conviction but noted its concern that the sentence imposed contradicted the provision of the laws under which Mohd Nor Shahrizam was charged.
"This is shocking given that the mandatory fine is explicitly stated in the Act. It is also disappointing considering it has taken 13 years of hard work and the effort of so many to include a punitive minimum fine for heinous wildlife crimes," said TRAFFIC Southeast Asia Regional Director Dr William Schaedla.
"Such arguments fail to recognize that the arrest in this case was linked to the largest Tiger seizure Malaysia has ever seen - eight skins and the skulls and bones of 22 Tigers were impounded from the culprit's Alor Star residence," he said.
"It also contradicts recent international developments that are putting wildlife crime on a par with other serious crimes such as drugs and arms smuggling and human trafficking."
"The short jail term and the lack of a fine are a demoralizing finale to what should have been a victory against wildlife crime. We hope the lapse does not crush the spirit of those authorities who are still working hard to protect Malaysia's 500 remaining Tigers."