Penang airport probes into inside job in snake fiasco

Posted on September 9, 2010. Filed under: Bio-diversity |

-NST-  GEORGE TOWN – Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) yesterday defended its security at the airport here after a wildlife trafficker slipped nearly 100 boa constrictors into a plane.

Authorities at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport arrested Anson Wong Keng Liang on August 26 when they found 95 boa constrictors, together with other snakes and a turtle, in his bag.

The bag had broken open on a conveyer belt at the KLIA while on transit to Indonesia.

MAHB senior general manager of operations Datuk Azmi Murad said the   airport’s security was of international standards and comparable with that of all airports in the world.

He said it had launched an investigation into the incident, but had yet to lodge a police report.

It is understood that MAHB is looking into the possibility of an inside job as no security officer had detected the snakes despite them going through scanners at the airport.

“We fulfil all international requirements.

“We have never compromised the safety of our passengers and aircraft,” Azmi said.

“We will investigate the matter and get to the bottom of things.”

Wong, 52, had served time in the United States nine years ago for animal trafficking. He was on Monday fined RM190,000 (S$82,000) and sentenced to six months in jail for trying to smuggle the endangered species without a permit.

However, some people said his sentence was too light.

State police chief Datuk Ayub Yaakob said police would not investigate the matter as no one had lodged a report.

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