Malaysian Customs and the seized pangolin scales at a press conference in Sepang (Photo: EPA/VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) - Malaysia has seized scales from pangolins worth up to 9.2 million MYR (over two million USD), the largest haul in the country, at Kuala Lumpur airport, officials said on May 8.

Customs officials discovered 712kg of scales at the airport's cargo warehouse, where they had been shipped in 18 sacks using false documents, Customs Department Assistant Director-General Paddy Abdul Halim said.

An estimated 1,400 pangolins had been killed to produce the amount of scales seized, according to the Malaysia Wildlife and National Parks Department.

The scales were shipped from Africa in two separate shipments, Paddy said. The first shipment from Accra, Ghana, was sent to Malaysia via Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, on an Emirates Airlines flight, which was seized on May 2.

The second was sent from Kinshaha, Congo, on a Kenya Airways flight to Nairobi, Kenya, where it was then transferred to an Emirates Airlines flight and shipped to Malaysia via Dubai. It was confiscated on May 4.

Malaysian authorised agencies are still investigating whether the two shipments are linked. No suspects have been detained.

Global trade in pangolin scales is banned under a convention of the United Nations, but they are prized in some Asian countries for use in traditional medicines.-VNA