A Special Action Team of the State Forestry Department recently seized 82kg of agarwood and detained a suspect during a raid on a house at Jalan Dominic.
The department said in a statement that the suspect was caught red-handed while processing pieces of the agarwood.
Using two sniffer dogs, the team managed to find more pieces of agarwood hidden in the kitchen area of the house, including inside the suspect’s bedroom.
Based on their initial investigation, the agarwood was obtained illegally and had been under the suspect’s control without valid permit.
The suspect will be charged under Section 30(1)(g) of the Forest Enactment 19868 for having in his possession a forest product that was obtained illegally.
If found guilty, he could be imprisoned up to five years or fined not more than RM500,000, or both.
The agarwood is an endangered tree species that is protected under the Convention of International Trade and Endangered Species (Cites).
As a party to the Convention, Malaysia has the responsibility to protect all its endangered species, including trees so they will not go extinct.
Sabah Forestry Department is the agency that enforces Cites.
In relation to the case, its Chief Forest Conservator Datuk Sam Mannan advised the people not to be involved in taking out any endangered species from the forests illegally or else they would have to answer to the law.
This, he said, includes illegal hunting.