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By Dorcas Ting
KUCHING, Sept 13: A 50-year-old man was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment and fined RM15,000, with a default option of four months in prison, by the Sessions Court today for the illegal possession of 200 turtle eggs.
Sessions Court Judge Afidah Abdul Rahman delivered the verdict after Mok Yong Fok entered a guilty plea to the charge framed under Section 29(1) of the Wildlife Protection Ordinance 1988.
This offense is punishable under Section 29(1)(c) of the same Ordinance, which carries a maximum imprisonment term of two years and a maximum fine of RM25,000.
His conviction stems from the possession of 200 turtle eggs without the necessary permission from the wildlife controller.
The incident occurred on July 2, 2022, at approximately 3.45 pm in front of an eatery located at RH Plaza, Lorong Lapangan Terbang 1.
A General Operations Force (GOF) officer, along with a raiding team from the Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC), conducted a joint raid in the vicinity.
During the operation, the authorities found Mok inside a vehicle and suspected him of possessing marine turtle eggs.
Subsequent to his arrest, a search revealed that Mok had 200 marine turtle eggs concealed in 10 black plastic bags, with each bag containing 20 eggs.
Mok failed to produce any written permission from the wildlife controller authorising him to possess these marine turtle eggs, leading the team to seize the contraband.
Investigations into the case found that the seized marine turtle eggs belonged to the Cheloniidae species, which is classified as a totally protected species listed in Part 1 of the First Schedule of the Wildlife Protection Ordinance 1988.
The prosecution was led by DPP Roland Felix Hardin and supported by prosecuting officers Christie Sereni Philimon and Paddril Peter, while Mok did not have legal representation during the proceedings. — DayakDaily