KOTA KINABALU (The Star/Asia News Network) - Malaysian authorities in Sabah have arrested two men for trying to sell body parts of the protected Malayan sun bears.
Sabah Wildlife Department director William Baya said the suspects, in their 30s, both from interior Sabah, had arrived here to sell the body parts on Monday (Aug 8).
Wildlife rangers seized eight bear paws, two gall bladders and eight teeth belonging to sun bears from the suspects.
He said the public had tipped off the department that the suspects were on their way to Tanjung Aru to arrange for a sales transaction.
"I directed my team to immediately go to the location and look for the suspects," he said.
Baya declined to say how much the body parts were sold for.
He said the team arrested the suspects as they were alighting from their vehicle and confiscated several items, including a 4WD and hand phones.
"We have remanded the duo at Penampang district police headquarters," Baya said.
Malayan sun bears are totally protected under Sabah's Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997.
Offenders can be jailed up to five years or fine up to RM50,000 or to both.
The illicit trading of the bear's gall bladders could fetch between RM1,500 and RM2,000 a piece, the paws up to RM200 per piece while the teeth could fetch about RM100 a piece.