A Malaysian national was deported today 8 April 2022 after serving a jail sentence for attempting to export native reptiles out of Australia.
Mr Chek Wei Javill Chin a 30-year-old was arrested in October 2019 as part of an investigation led by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s (DAWE) Environmental Crime investigation team.
Mr Chin was charged with attempting to export 21 parcels containing Shingleback lizards, Blue-tongue lizards, Geckos, Lace Monitors, Pythons and Water Dragons.
The parcels were intended for Hong Kong and had been posted at various Australia Post outlets across NSW and Victoria.
Mr Chin was found guilty of 9 counts of attempting to export regulated native specimens out of Australia and was sentenced to 3 years and 6 months imprisonment with a non-parole period of 2 years and 4 months.
After serving the period of non-parole on 8 February 2022, he was released into immigration detention to be deported back to Malaysia.
Wildlife crime is a global problem that is increasingly recognised as a specialised area of organised crime which requires coordinated domestic and international enforcement capabilities to disrupt. Native Australian reptiles are highly sought after overseas.
DAWE continues to recognise wildlife trafficking as a key issue and is s committed to detecting and disrupting wildlife crime and exposing the organised crime syndicates who are responsible for coordinating the exports and imports of live animals.
The department is working collaboratively with other International and Domestic partners including INTERPOL, Australian Border Force, Australian Federal Police, State and Territory Police and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecution.
Mr Chin is one of 11 individuals given terms of imprisonment in Australia after multiple investigations conducted by the Environmental Crime team. In total those convicted have been sentenced to almost 27 years in jail.
Exporting Australian wildlife is an offence under s303DD of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act 1999). Each count is deemed serious and indictable, with the maximum penalty being imprisonment for 10 years and/or a $222,000 fine for an individual or a $1,110,000 fine for a corporation.
Members of the public with any information about trade in illegal wildlife or wildlife products should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.