Two Thai nationals and a Malaysian were nabbed for trying to smuggle in sulcata tortoises into Malaysia via Perlis. (Stock photo)

KUALA LUMPUR: Three smugglers were nabbed yesterday for attempting to bring in eight exotic tortoises through the Malaysia-Thailand border.

The trio; two Thais and a Malaysian, were suspected of trying to smuggle the sulcata tortoises (Centrochelys sulcata) into Malaysia via Perlis using a private vehicle.

State National Parks and Wildlife Department (Perhilitan), in collaboration with the Padang Besar Malaysian Border Security Agency (Aksem), arrested the men, aged between 24 and 28, when they failed to produce a valid import permit for the reptiles.

Perlis Perhilitan director-general Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim said the offence comes under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010.

The trio now faced imprisonment of two years and fine of not more than RM50,000 or both.

Abdul Kadir encouraged the public to contact Perhilitan if they have knowledge of poaching and smuggling activities.

He said those with information should contact Perhilitan's hotline at 1-800-88-5151 on Monday to Sunday from 8am till 6pm or file through an e-complaint mechanism at their website.