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UPDATED: 15:41, November 19, 2006
Malaysian army helps catch forest poachers: report
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Malaysia has deployed army force to help catch poachers in forests in recent years, New Straits Times (NST) reported Sunday.

Since 2002, the army has been roped in to trawl through forests for poachers in collaboration with enforcement officers from the Wildlife and National Parks Department (known as Perhilitan for short in Malay), said the NST, a local English daily.

Seventy-five foreign poachers have been caught and charged in court from 2002 to 2005, 70 of whom were Thai nationals and the rest from Cambodia, said the report.

The wrongdoers were fined, jailed and some given two strokes of the cane.

Perhilitan Director-General Abd Rashid Samsudin said the department had faced difficulties in catching foreign poachers for years.

"Foreign poachers are armed differently and we don't know their skills. We only have simple shotguns ... Our guys are trained to control wildlife, not hunt poachers. That's where the army comes in," Abd Rashid was quoted as saying.

The joint effort also uncovered 173 illegal camps and 73 wildlife snares in numerous national parks in this tropical country,said Abd Rashid.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers co- ordinator Loretta Ann Soosayraj noted there was still much work to be done.

Evidence shows that many poachers were prepared to be based there for months at a time, said Loretta.

"If you take it that there are 10 poachers at a campsite, with the number of camps found, you'll realize that there are a lot of poachers out there," she added.

Source: Xinhua

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