Malaysians arrested in PDX on wildlife smuggling

The 2 were arrested Friday after arriving in Oregon

A large male orangutan relaxes on the branch of a tree after his afternoon meal at the Semengok Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, south of Kuching in Sarawak in this March 12,1996 file photo. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
A large male orangutan relaxes on the branch of a tree after his afternoon meal at the Semengok Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, south of Kuching in Sarawak in this March 12,1996 file photo. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Federal agents arrested two Malaysian nationals in Portland on accusations they smuggled orangutan skulls and parts of other wildlife into the U.S.

Authorities say the two were arrested Friday shortly after arriving in Oregon to meet an associate. The criminal complaint says they own an online business that has been smuggling endangered wildlife into the U.S. since 2004.

The investigation began a couple years ago when authorities found a helmeted hornbill mandible while searching an international package headed to Forest Grove, Oregon. Undercover agents then purchased three orangutan skulls, four helmeted hornbill skulls, a wild pig skull and other parts.

The two face charges of illegally importing wildlife into the U.S., which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

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