41 Komodo Dragons have been smuggled out of Labuan Bajo, Flores, says the Director of Special Crimes & Investigations of the East Java Regional Police, Akhmad Yusep Gunawan who also said that the Dragons were being sold within the illegal wildlife trade network for IDR 500 million each.
“It is clear that the Dragons were illegally acquired and were being distributed to three countries within South East Asia through Singapore,” he said. The police has rescued 5 baby Komodos from the hands of the illegal smugglers via a rescue operation in Surabaya. “Unfortunately there is an international demand for Komodo Dragons and one can be sold for about IDR 500 million,” he added.
The Komodo Dragons are an endangered species, protected under Indonesian wildlife laws.
Taken from the island of Flores in east Indonesia, the Komodo Dragons were being sold through multiple middlemen. The police have remanded at least 9 individuals suspected of being involved with illegal trafficking of wildlife. The police is currently looking for the 10th perpetrator who is said to not only trade Komodo Dragons, but other endangered and protected species including inturung, yellow crested cockatoos, Maluku cockatoos, parrot parrots, perkicing birds, anteaters, and otters