Activists Friday slammed a two-year jail term handed to a Malaysian man over the country’s biggest seizure of illegally trafficked tiger parts as too short and a “demoralizing finale” to the case.
A district court in northern Kedah state found Nor Shahrizam guilty Thursday of illegal possession of tiger parts and ivory and he was ordered to serve 24 months in jail, said TRAFFIC, a group that monitors wildlife smuggling.
TRAFFIC said it was “shocking” that no fine was imposed even though the law stipulates a mandatory fine of not less than 100,000 ringgit ($32,000).
“The short jail term and the lack of a fine are a demoralizing finale to what should have been a victory against wildlife crime,” said TRAFFIC Southeast Asia regional director William Schaedla.
“We hope the lapse does not crush the spirit of those authorities who are still working hard to protect Malaysia’s 500 remaining tigers,” he added.
Smuggling of endangered wildlife throughout Southeast Asia is extensive, with some animal parts still used in traditional medicines.