TAWAU: Police have recovered a pair of tusks sawn off a Borneo pygmy elephant, which was riddled with 70 bullets at Sungai Udin, close to a Felda plantation.
The tusks were wrapped with gunny plastic and buried underneath a banana tree about 10km from where the elephant was killed.
District police chief Assistant Commissioner Peter Umbuas said one of the six suspects who were arrested had led police to the location.
He said more suspects or accomplices, including tusks buyers would be arrested.
“Police would like to advise firearms owners not to abuse the licences or lend them to unlicensed people.
“We will not compromise on any wrongdoings, whether it is to animals or others,” he added.
Earlier, police detained six people aged between 48 and 68 during an operation in the Felda Umas area from midnight till noon today.
Two are plantation workers tasked to deter wild animals from going into the plantation.
Police also seized 56 live bullets, 53 bullet shells and three firearms, including a homemade weapon called bakakuk believed to be used in the heinous act.
Peter said the killing had occurred about 9am on Sept 23 and the carcass was discovered a few days later by the public.
He said the motive was to kill the elephant for the tusks, in the course of fulfilling their duties to guard the plantation.
A post-mortem revealed 70 gunshot wounds on the body with a bullet piercing its head.
The case is being investigated under Section 8(a) of Firearms Act 1960.