“I can get anything here from anywhere,” he boasted to an American undercover agent in March 1997. “Nothing can be done to me. I could sell a panda — and, nothing. As long as I’m here [in Malaysia], I’m safe.” The key, he explained, was paying off government officials in the customs bureau and, importantly, in the wildlife department, the agency responsible for animals’ paperwork.
Get the Longreads Weekly Email
Success! You're on the list.
Whoops! There was an error and we couldn't process your subscription. Please reload the page and try again.