The police have cracked down on exotic animal hunting and illegal use of firearms, with the arrest of five men and a woman in Mersing and Kluang, yesterday.

Johor police chief Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said the suspects, all Malaysians, who were believed to have been actively involved in hunting exotic animals in the past two years, were arrested under ‘Op Khazanah Pemburuan Haiwan’ and following information from the Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar.

“In the first operation beside Sungai Lenggor, Mersing at 1.30 am yesterday, an enforcement team from the state Department of Wildlife and National Park (Perhilitan) Peninsular Malaysia and the General Operations Force managed to arrest three men, aged between 33 and 47,” " he said here, yesterday.

Following the arrest, police seized two portions of wild boar meat, porcupine quills, two homemade rifles, three shotgun bullets, three machetes and a Mitsubishi Triton vehicle.

Meanwhile, in the second operation carried out following information from Sultan Ibrahim, another two men and a woman, aged between 44 and 53, were arrested at 10 pm in several locations in Kluang.

Ayob Khan said police also seized 54 portions of wild boar meat, 17 portions believed to be junglefowl meat; 10 portions of suspected ‘burung puchong’ (Black-crowned night heron) meat; six portions of deer meat and two deer heads; a shotgun and 270 bullets of various brands; a Toyota Hilux and a firearm licence.

The police believe the seized animal meat were for sale to restaurants around Kluang and for export to foreign countries, he said.

On Sunday, Sultan Ibrahim on his official Facebook page had expressed anger over poaching activities that are still going on in the state forests including in Endau Rompin, Mersing and Kahang.

Meanwhile, Ayob Khan said all suspects have been remanded to facilitate investigation under Section 60(1) of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 and Section 8, 8(a) and 8(b) of the Arms Act 1960.

“We urge the public to inform the police if they know anyone who owns homemade firearms.

“We have also issued a stern warning to all licensed firearm holders not to violate any condition of the licence,” said Ayob Khan.

The public who have information on the misuse of the firearms licence are advised to contact the Johor Police Contingent operations room at 07-2254074.