Saturday, May 18, 2019

Poaching Begets 2-year Jail Time and RM1.56 Million Fine

On Wednesday, in Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, the Sessions Court there sentenced two poachers to a two-year prison term and imposed a fine of RM1.56 million – the highest amount so far for wildlife crimes in the country’s history. 

Judge Azman Mustapha also ruled that the pair would be jailed a further 16 years if they failed to pay the fines. 

The Vietnamese nationals, Hoang Van Viet, 29, and Nguyen Van Thiet, 26, had pleaded guilty to 20 charges under the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010. They were detained during the “Ops Belang” exercise in Taman Negara, Terengganu on April 15, 2019. 

According to one news report, in their possession were found 141 individual parts of serow (genus Capricornis), Malayan tiger (genus Panthera), clouded leopard (genus Neofelis), tapir (genus Tapirus), sun bear (genus Helarctos), golden cat ‎(genus Catopuma) and wild boar (genus Sus), in addition to 22 snares. 


Malayan tiger

Clouded leopard


Sun bear

Golden cat

Wild boar

There is hope that the above punishment can create a deterrent effect. It’s time we get serious about protecting our wildlife. 

It’s not as if this was an isolated incident. 

In March, Tran Van Sang, who was caught in Perak in August 2017, was sentenced to a total of 19 years jail and fined RM850,000 after being found guilty of 10 charges under the Wildlife Conservation Act. He was found to be in illegal possession of 273 wildlife parts including tiger, leopard, clouded leopard, sun bear and sambar deer. 

Another Vietnamese, Ho Van Kien, was sentenced to six years in jail and RM400,000 in fines by the Raub Session Court in Pahang after being found guilty of possession of one full tiger skin, a partial tiger skin, one leopard claw, and a sun bear claw, as well as 150g of tiger meat and 21.15 kg of wild boar meat. 

On March 13, 2018, a gang of heavily-armed poachers were arrested near the town of Gerik in the northern Malaysian state of Perak. They were caught with deer antlers and suspected tiger bones and they also found an elephant shot dead by them with its tusks ripped out.

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