Malaysia Airlines Takes a Firm Stance against Wildlife Trafficking

21st Nov 2017

International wildlife trafficking syndicates generate between $7 billion and $23 billion in illegal revenue per year, according to the World Economic Forum figures, standing fourth, just behind drugs, human and arms trafficking.

However, more and more companies are seeing the necessity for the community to band together against this problem and Malaysia Airlines is now among them.

The national Malaysian carrier joined the Buckingham Declaration and has pledged to take on the illicit wildlife trafficking syndicates in London.

MAB Executive Counsel Nik Azli Abu Zahar said:

Criminals rely heavily on air transportation to smuggle victims from one place to another and we wish to put a stop to this. We train and empower more than 4,000 front line staff, especially cabin crew, to be alert and monitor passengers who behave suspiciously, to be our eyes and ears in the skies and on ground to report any suspicious activities.

He added:

Our serious commitment is in the hope of clamping down on the trade chains for wildlife worldwide. So, today, we declare a zero-tolerance policy regarding the illegal wildlife trade, increasing awareness among staff and passengers as well as providing staff training to identify and report suspected illegal wildlife and human trafficking.

Deputy Home Minister Masir Kujat noted:

The government is aware that our airports are being used as hubs and transit points for crimes like trafficking in persons and wildlife trafficking. Malaysia has come a long way in combating the crime of trafficking in persons. Let’s take a tough stance against the crimes of human and wildlife trafficking. We must stop these criminals collectively.

Malaysia, with its diverse ecosystem and wildlife is a prime target for wildlife traffickers. Pangolin scales, ivory and rhino horns are especially sought after by criminals. Rhino horns, for instance, go for as much as $60,000 per kilogram or $132,000 per pound.

Criminals usually use airports to smuggle their ill-gotten goods. Just in the first half of 2017, the Royal Malaysian Customers seized eight large shipments of elephant tusks and pangolin scales at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Unfortunately, that is probably just the tip of the iceberg as there is no telling how many shipments passed through the customs undetected.

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