Jailed three months for illegal possession of protected plants

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SIBU: Nine Indonesians aged between 20 and 39 were each sentenced to three months’ jail and fined RM500 in default two weeks’ jail by the Kapit Sessions Court yesterday for keeping protected plants without permit.

Judge Marutin Pagan handed down the sentence after the accused pleaded guilty to the joint charge.

Ujang Saliman, 38, Paulus Unta, 39, Senin Unan, 24, Johonny Lidi, 31, Agus Malik, 38, Suhaidi Duri, 39, Layang Embas, 31, Jawang Abu, 20 and Akob Abu, 22, were jointly charged with possessing around 22.09 kilogrammes of cut wood, wood fragments and pieces of Kayu gaharu (Aquilaria Becariana) – being protected plant under the Wild Life Protection Ordinance, 1998 (Chapter 26) – without licence.

The offence, punishable under Section 30(2) of the ordinance, was committed near a licensed logging company in Sg. Melatai, Kapit, at about 5pm on April 23.

The ordinance provides for an imprisonment of up to one year and a fine of up to RM10,000, upon conviction.

According to brief facts of the case, on April 22 at about 5pm, a team of eight officers from the Sarawak Forestry Corporation led by Mohammad Norazlan and five marine police personnel, inspected the area near the licensed logging area, Sg. Melati operated by Solid Hartabina Sdn Bhd in Kapit district.

During the inspection, the team encountered the nine Indonesians.

Upon investigation, the Indonesians were found to have in their possession around 22.09 kg of the protected plants.

All the accused failed to pay their fines and have to serve a further two weeks in prison.

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