KOTA KINABALU - The Court of Appeal has enhanced the punishment of a pangolin smuggler by increasing his fine from RM10,000 (S$3,737) to RM25,000 and slapping him with a maximum three years in jail.
In agreeing with the prosecution's appeal to enhance the penalty against Calvin Cher Jia Wei, 21, Chief Judge for Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum said the case was rare as a wildlife offender had been caught in this instance.
He said although many concerns had been raised on the need to better protect wildlife, there appeared to be doubts over the seriousness of the authorities in this matter.
Malanjum said there was a need for the relevant authorities to provide more serious penalties for such offences as a deterrent measure.
The three-year jail term against Cher is the stiffest penalty for a wildlife-related offence.
Malanjum made the ruling to enhance the Beaufort Magistrate Court's RM10,000 (S$3,737) fine against Cher after he pleaded guilty to a charge under Section 41(2) of the Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997 on Nov 25 last year.
On Oct 30 last year, policemen found 12 pangolins tied up in sacks in a vehicle driven by Cher in Beaufort.