Posts Tagged ‘Misliah Mohamad Basir’

Courts are Everything

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

In researching The Lizard King I discovered that historically the most important innovation in wildlife law enforcement was not more money or more cops, but a committed court.  The creation of the Wildlife and Marine Resources Division in the US Dept of Justice and its attendant Environmental Crimes Section in the wake of the Henry Molt reptile smuggling case was the single most important development in getting wildlife crimes prosecuted. AUSA (now judge) Chris McAliley modeled her prosecutorial office in Miami after the DOJ’s Environmental Crime Section as did a prosecutor in California, resulting in the two of the most effective wildlife enforcement jurisdictions in the world.   It’s worth adding that John Webb (below) was McAliley’s mentor.  As usual, Azrina Abdullah says it best:

Judges warm up to green issues  by Azrina Abdullah (22 Nov 2010)

MUCH has been said in my column and letters to the editor about the need for stronger enforcement and laws to shed Malaysia’s image as an illegal wildlife trade hub. The focus has been on enforcement. And to the government’s credit, laws have been improved and enforced, in addition to investigations by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission of a senior staff of the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan).

However, many tend to forget that judges play an essential role in the efforts to reduce wildlife trafficking. It is only in recent years that the judiciary was recognised as a key agent in the (more…)

Seized Wildlife Trafficker Notebooks Give Unique Insight

Friday, October 29th, 2010

“Seized Notebooks give unique insight” at first when I read these words in the following press release from TRAFFIC-Malaysia I thought, Wow!  I’m about to read what the Malaysian government discovered from its recent seizure of Anson Wong’s laptop and cell phones. 

Or, I’m about to read the results of the Malaysian anti-corruption agency’s recent raid on wildlife department officer Misliah Mohd. Basir’s office (they seized a computer, too). 

Instead I read this fascinating window on the pangolin trade–all from a single syndicate’s notebooks.  The government of Sabah operates independently of mainland Malaysia’s government on many wildife issues.  That is why we can have such a good example of NGO-Government cooperation on the one hand and such poor progress on opening up Anson and Misliah’s files to public scrutiny, on the other.  Peninsular Malaysians should demand the same transparency as on Sabah. 

Seized notebooks give unique insight into scale of illicit pangolin trade
 
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 28th October 2010—Stunning figures in traffickers’ logbooks indicate massive illegal capture and trade in endangered pangolins or scaly anteaters, finds a new TRAFFIC study.

A Preliminary Assessment of Pangolin Trade in Sabah analyses logbooks seized following a raid by Sabah Wildlife Department in 2009 on a syndicate’s pangolin trafficking premises in Kota Kinabalu, the capital city of the Malaysian State of Sabah in north Borneo.
 
The logbooks reveal that 22,200 pangolins were killed and 834.4 kg of pangolin scales were supplied to the syndicate between May 2007 and January 2009…

  Read More.

The Lizard King In Center of Tiger Permits Corruption Probe

Friday, August 28th, 2009

The following story appears today in Malaysia’s national newspaper, The Star.  The implications of this investigation extend well beyond Malaysia.  One corrupt, or even lax, regulatory regime can enable traffickers to move endangered wildlife from every corner of the earth–all they need is a signature, and a CITES stamp.

The Star Online > Starprobe
Saturday August 29, 2009

MACC gets wildlife memos

By YENG AI CHUN

 

Paper trail: This letter about an application to export tigers is among the documents handed over to the MACC.

KUALA LUMPUR: A group of animal rights activists has submitted documents to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to back their allegations against the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan).

The documents allegedly show Perhilitan deputy director-general Misliah Mohamad Basir endorsing the renewal of special permits for convicted wildlife trafficker Anson Wong. (more…)