The Perhilitan headquarters in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photo: Google Maps

Six Vietnamese men and women were arrested in Pahang, Malaysia, on Wednesday for alleged illegal poaching and smuggling rare animal parts with an estimated market value of $500,000 ringgit (US$124,667).

On July 4, officers from the Pahang Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan), acting on a tip-off, raided a sawmill in Kuala Lipis, where four men and two women, all Vietnamese nationals, were arrested and 63 animal parts and three wire snares confiscated, Sin Chew Daily (Malaysia) reported.

Among the most valuable parts seized were two full pieces of dried Malayan Tiger skin, which could be priced at up to $200,000 ringgit (US$49,869) per piece on the black market.

A preliminary investigation suggested the Vietnamese allegedly used the wire snares to trap and kill protected animals and sold animal parts to middlemen who would then smuggle the items out of the country.

The six arrested were remand­ed for investigation under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 (Act 716).