Lizard King Gets Nabbed

Posted in Wildlife A-Z | September 14, 2010 | Comment Now

We’ve all known of people who have been petrified of snakes. Those slithering creatures are well capable of giving some of the grownups we know, a run for their money. But then again, there are the others who have an absolute fondness for this crawly animal. For the latter half (and the former half with a heart), this news may come as quite a shock. Recently a honcho in the world of wildlife trafficking was caught and been sentenced to a good six months of time behind the bars. His crime: he was attempting to smuggle about 95 boa constrictors.

The best part was where he tried to conceal them. They were all in his luggage!

Lizard King and the Plan Gone Wrong:

His real name is Anson Wong Keng Liang, but he is infamously known as ‘Lizard King’.

Wong had put the endangered snakes into a suitcase and he was attempting to smuggle them across to Indonesia via a plane ride. The boas were also seen to be sharing bag-space with a matamata turtle and two rhinoceros vipers. Mr. Wong a.k.a Lizard King has been asked to pay a fine of about $61,000 approximately.  Mr. Wong has pleaded guilty about trying to smuggle these animals from Penang, which is an island state of Malaysia to Jakarta, the Indonesian capital.

This incident occurred on the 26th of August.

The funnier bit is that Wong managed to make the journey from Penang to Kuala Lumpur without anyone noticing anything was amiss. The first flight went smoothly; and it was his transit flight that got him into trouble.  He was done in at Kuala Lumpur when the bag he was transporting the animals in burst on the conveyor belt.

Protests Against Wong:

Wildlife groups in Malaysia are angered by the relatively light punishment that Wong has been sentenced to. According to spokespersons for the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Association, Traffic Southeast Asia; this sentence was disappointing and they believed that it would give traffickers the impression that they didn’t have to be scared of the law.

Animal rights activists are hoping that the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment will consider appealing for a tougher penalty to be inflicted upon Wong in this case.

This isn’t Wong first tryst with the law. In 2001, he was caught and convicted for smuggling of wildlife and then was sentenced to about 71 months of jail.

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