JAKARTA, March 7 (Xinhua) -- An Indonesian court has sentenced two smugglers of pangolins which are on the brink of extinction to three years in jail each.
The two smugglers of 25 years old and 22 years old were found guilty of illegally transporting 101 pangolins to foreign buyers, said presiding judge Zia Ul Jannah in a court session in Bengkalis district of Riau province.
The judge said that a boat has been seized and all the pangolins handed to wild animal conservation agency to be released into their habitats.
The two smugglers must also pay fine for their illegal activities, she said.
According to an investigator and a WWF official the two smugglers attempted to smuggle the protected animals from Pakning river to Malaysian ships in Malaysia.
They were nabbed on Oct. 24 last year by Indonesian navy.
"Bengkalis is a gate for smuggling endangered species to abroad, such as Vietnam and Malaysia," the official from WWF was quoted by Antara news wire on Wednesday.
The official expects the arrest of the smugglers to decrease the level of illegal trade of protected animals.
Indonesia's is known as the most species rich country as its large area of rain forest is home to numerable species spreading in over 17,500 islands.
Over 10 percent of the world's known plant species and 12 percent of mammal species, including those in the level of nearly extinction live in Indonesia's rain forest.