Four years’ jail, RM150,000 fine over turtle parts
TAWAU: Two Filipino men were sentenced to four years’ jail and fined RM150,000 each, in default one years’ jail by the Sessions Court here yesterday for possession of 97 kilograms of green turtle (chelonia mydas) shells and carcasses.
Sessions Court Judge Indra Hj Ayub meted out the sentence on Adam bin Ilma, 30, and Gudak bin Sinduk, 20, to a charge under Section 41(1) of the Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997 which provides a fine of not less than RM50,000 and not more than RM250,000 and imprisonment of not less than one year and not more than five years.
Both accused pleaded guilty to possession of the turtle shells and carcasses on October 7, 2017 at about 11 am at Ligitan Island, Semporna.
Prosecuting officer from the Wildlife Department, Abdul Karim Hj Dakog in mitigation pressed for a deterrent sentence as a lesson to the accused and others.
He said the rate of extinction of green turtles would become higher and faster if the activity is not curbed and the offense committed by both the accused involved the environment and a fully protected species.
Judge Indra also took into consideration public interest, the guilty plea of both accused, the decreasing turtle population and the effect on environmental protection and the seriousness of the offense on the environment and the protected species before handing down the sentence. Both accused were also ordered to be referred to the Immigration Department after serving their sentences.
Adam (second right) and Gunak (second left) being led out byWildlife Department personnel after being sentenced yesterday.