Fined $14,900 over 5 tortoises

Fined $14,900 over 5 tortoises
Legal trouble: Muthukomar and Cheah entering the Sessions Court in Balik Pulau for the hearing of their cases.

BALIK PULAU - A company director was fined a total of RM40,000 (S$14900) by the Sessions Court here after he pleaded guilty to two counts of illegally possessing five elongated tortoises.

Syarikat Rona Wildlife Enterprise director K. Muthukomar, 54, was fined RM10,000 for keeping three male elongated tortoises without a special permit for the first offence.

Judge Sitarun Nisa Abdul Aziz fined him RM30,000 for keeping two female elongated tortoises without a special permit for the second offence.

The tortoise, known locally as baning lonjong, is a protected wildlife species.

Muthukomar admitted to committing both offences at Pantai Acheh here at 1.30pm on Nov 24, 2013.

The first offence, under Section 68(1)(a) of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010, carries a maximum RM100,000 fine, a jail term of up to three years or both while the second offence under Section 70(1) of the same Act carries a maximum RM300,000 fine, a jail term of up to 10 years or both upon conviction.

Sitarun Nisa fixed June 10 for the trial of wildlife trader Anson Wong's wife, Cheah Bing Shee, 56, who was jointly charged with Muthukomar with committing the offences.

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