The Malaysian government on Thursday torched nearly three tonnes of seized scales of endangered pangolins worth some $9 million.
The move was aimed at deterring illegal wildlife poaching and trafficking in Africa.
Malaysia is battling to clamp down on trafficking of pangolin scales through its borders. Pangolin scales are highly valued in some parts of Asia, as they are believed to have medicinal powers.
“Such a huge seizure and torching of it is definitely a blow to smuggling syndicates,” AFP news agency quotes Malaysia’s chief of Wildlife and National Parks Department, Abdul Kadir Abu Hashim.
It is estimated that around 3,000 pangolins may have been killed to obtain the 2.8 tonnes of scales.
The scales were confiscated by customs authorities at Port Klang between May and September 2017. According to the officials, the scales arrived in three different shipments from Ghana and Cameroon, and had false local addresses.
“Forensic examination of the scales showed that it is from the African species,” Abdul Kadir said.
The scales were incinerated at a private waste disposal plant in Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan, south of the capital Kuala Lumpur.