Malaysia torches African pangolin scales worth $9m

They’re trying to stop trafficking in the species whose scales are highly prized in Chinese medicine.

An environment officer inspects a huge amount of pangolin scales seized by Royal Malaysian Customs before being incinerated at Port Dickson on 6 December 2018. Picture: AFP

PRETORIA - Authorities in Malaysia have torched nearly three tons of pangolin scales worth $9 million.

They’re trying to stop trafficking in the species whose scales are highly prized in Chinese medicine.

More than 3,000 pangolins would have had to be killed to provide the scales set alight by Malaysian officials.

They were confiscated during major anti-trafficking operations this past year.

Authorities have contacted the government of South Africa, Cameroon and Ghana from where the pangolins originated.

Malaysia has become a transit point in moving the grisly goods to China, Hong Kong and Vietnam.

Pangolins are one of the most trafficked species. Under threat, they roll into a ball allowing the poachers to lift them and put them in a bag.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)