KOTA KINABALU, Malaysia - Sabah is continuing with their crackdown against poachers. Four men have been slapped with a RM3,500 (S$1,360) fine each after they were caught with an illegally hunted wild boar in a forest reserve.
The Tawau Sessions Court ordered the four - Nurik Ganggot, 53, Sanreco Ansusok, 39 and Ladim Kahintan, 50, Arwandi Ranggot, 34, - to be jailed six months each if they failed to pay the fines imposed against them.
The four pleaded guilty when brought to court on March 6 and were charged under Section 41(2) of the Wildlife Conservation Act for being having the wild boar carcass without a valid permit.
They were accused of committing the offence at the Kalabakan Forest Reserve on February 3.
The court also ordered a fifth accomplice, aged 38, who did not turn up for the hearing to be present on April 2 and that an arrest warrant would be issued against him if he was not present.
Prosecuting Officer Karim Dakog, the Sabah Wildlife Department's head of enforcement and prosecution, said the five were detained by a team of Forestry Department rangers on Feb 3 at 7.20am.
He said apart from the wild boar carcass, the Forestry rangers recovered three bekakuk or home made shotguns and three machetes from the four pick up trucks they were travelling in.
Karim said the weapons were handed over to the police while the wild boar carcass was sent to Wildlife Department.
"Wildlife poaching is now happening rampantly as photographic evidence from camera traps placed in most of the forest reserves show many, who we believe are poachers, going and coming in freely with firearms and carrying the wildlife carcasses out with them," said Karim.
Department director Datuk Dr Laurentius Ambu said the crackdown was made possible with the close cooperation between state authorities.