Sunday 23 July 2017

Man jailed for smuggling snakes

Anson Wong tried to smuggle a bag containing live boa constrictors out of Malaysia (AP)
Anson Wong tried to smuggle a bag containing live boa constrictors out of Malaysia (AP)

A wildlife trader has been jailed for six months by a Malaysian court for smuggling 95 live boa constrictors in his luggage at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Legal adviser Faridz Gohim Abdullah said the district court also fined Keng Liang "Anson" Wong 190,000 ringgit (£38,780).

Wong pleaded guilty last week to a charge of exporting the endangered snakes without a permit. He was arrested on the way to neighbouring Indonesia last month when his bag broke open on a conveyer belt.

Wong has already served a prison sentence for wildlife trafficking in the United States.

Activists had called for the maximum penalty of seven years for Wong to signal that the country would not tolerate wildlife smuggling.

In 2001, a US court sentenced Wong to almost six years in prison for running an animal-smuggling ring which prosecutors said imported and sold more than 300 protected reptiles native to Asia and Africa. Wong had been arrested in Mexico in 1998.

Wong moved back to Malaysia following his return from the US.

Faridz Gohim, the prosecuting officer, said he would discuss with other government authorities whether to appeal over the court's ruling and seek a tougher sentence.

Press Association

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