TAWAU (Bernama) – Police have arrested six men, five locals and an illegal immigrant, in connection with the brutal killing of a pygmy elephant whose carcass was found in Sungai Udin, Dumpas last week.
Tawau District Police Chief, ACP Peter Umbuas said the suspects, aged between 48 and 68, were arrested between 12.20am and noon yesterday in a raid carried out under Ops Bersapadu Khazanah.
“Acting on a tip-off, a police team arrested a man around 12.20am at Felda Umas 4, suspected of being involved in the elephant shooting case.
“Following the first arrest, three more raids were carried out at Felda Umas which led to the arrest of three men, while in a raid this afternoon two more were arrested in Felda Umas and Ladang Dumpas,” he told a press conference attended by Tawau Wildlife Department (JHL) officer, Sailun Aris.
“Of the six men, two were responsible for shooting the elephant while four others abetted. The illegal immigrant is suspected of storing the firearms while a smallholder concealed the elephant tusks,” he said.
Peter said in the operation police seized a licensed pump gun, homemade air gun, three homemade shotguns (bakakuk), 53 bullet shell casing, 58 rounds of ammunition, a licence book for gun ownership and ammunition and a mobile phone.
“It is believed that the pump gun and bakakuk were used to shoot the elephant,” he said.