KOTA KINABALU: Four people have been arrested to facilitate investigations into the recent killing of a male Borneo pygmy elephant for its tusks in Kalabakan, Tawau.
It is learnt those arrested were three locals and a foreigner. They were nabbed during a raid at a house, where police also seized a shotgun and bullets.
District police chief Assistant Commissioner Peter Umbuas, when contacted, confirmed the arrests, but declined further comment.
Umbuas is scheduled to hold a press conference on the matter at the district police headquarters at 2pm today.
Yesterday, he said the suspects were under police radar, adding that police are investigating the case under the Firearms Act.
The operation leading to the arrests, dubbed Ops Bersepadu Khazanah, also involved Sabah Wildlife Department rangers.
On Sept 25, a group of anglers discovered an elephant carcass at Sungai Udin riverbank and shared some photos on social media.
Following that, SWD officers were despatched to conduct investigations and found the male elephant's tusks were cut off by suspected poachers.
A post-mortem revealed 70 gunshot wounds on the body, with a bullet piercing its head. Nearby villagers, however, said they did not hear any gunshot being fired.
A RM30,000 reward was offered to anyone who could provide information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the suspects.
The reward was initially RM10,000, offered by Sabah Wildlife Department. Two organisations, including UK-Based Orangutan Appeal, later contributed RM10,000 each to the original reward.