Earlier this week, authorities found an Asian elephant shot to death at Hutan Piah in Gerik with its trunk and tusks removed
The elephant, believed to be 30-year-old, was shot three times, twice in its head.
"A bullet was found lodged in the right buttock of the animal," Internal Security and Public Order Department (KDNKA) Director Commissioner Zulkifli Abdullah said during a press conference at the Gerik police station on Tuesday, 13 March.
The elephant is believed to have been killed a week ago
According to Comm Zulkifli, a tip-off led police officers along with General Operation Forces and the Department of Wildlife to arrest four men on Sunday in a three-day operation dubbed Ops Gading
One of the men led police to a house in Kampung Padang Jeri, where they seized four firearms including a .458 rifle, two homemade shotguns and a Colt M15 as well as five homemade gun barrels along with 225 bullets.
The team also seized wire traps, machetes, a chainsaw along with various hunting equipment and RM10,500 in cash believed to be from the sales of elephant ivory.
"We also seized a deer horn and seven bone fragments believed to be from a tiger," Zulkifli was quoted as saying by the Star Online.
All four suspects, aged between 40 and 49, who are professional hunters, will be remanded until 18 March to be investigated for possessing illegal firearms, unlicensed weapons and for carrying weapons in public.
The four suspects are part of a very notorious syndicate which had been hunting and selling wildlife for the past nine years
Zulkifli said they have killed about 20 elephants since 2009 and earned more than RM800,000 from wildlife and ivory sales believed to be for the Thai market.
The case is being investigated under Section 8 of the Firearms (Increased Penalties) Act 1971, Section 8 (a) of the Firearms Act 1960 and Section 6 of the Corrosive and Explosive Substances and Offensive Weapons Act 1958, according to Bernama.
In other news, the Immigration Department says it is illegal for foreign workers to work in restaurants and eateries unless they are hired as cooks: