Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga (pictured) reported that two more people had been arrested in connection with the multiple slaughter of protected turtles on Sabah’s east coast. ― Picture courtesy of Sabah Wildlife DepartmentKOTA KINABALU, Oct 3 — Two more people have been arrested in connection with the multiple slaughter of protected turtles on Sabah’s east coast that irked conservationists worldwide.
Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga said that a Bajau Laut man in his 40s was detained in Dinawan island, while a Bajau Laut woman in her 30s was detained separately in Kg Amboh-Amboh, Bum-Bum Island today.
“Their statement will be recorded to facilitate the investigation. More arrests are expected to be made in the coming days,” he said, adding that it was difficult to locate the whereabouts of the other suspects due to their nomadic lifestyle.
Tuuga said they will be searching for at least two more suspects to assist investigations with help from the Semporna Marine Police, Sabah Parks and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Yesterday, authorities arrested a 60-year-old fisherman on Bum Bum Island where the skeletal remains were found and remanded him for five days.
The brutal dismembering of about eight turtles first came to light when photos of the carcasses were posted online and caught the attention of the conservationists and the wildlife department.
Meanwhile, in a separate wildlife poaching case, wildlife authorities raided a house of suspected poachers today, resulting in the arrests of two Indonesians and seizure of sambar deer and bearded pig body parts.
“Initially we suspected them to be connected with the killing of an elephant in Kinabatangan recently but we didn’t find any evidence of that,” he said.
The wildlife department is continuing their investigation into the killing of a male elephant found floating in Kinabatangan. The search for the killing site has now moved upstream to where the decomposing body was found in the Sungai Koyah River.