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Two Indian nationals jailed for keeping turtles without permit

KUALA LUMPUR: Two Indian nationals were jailed 24 months’ each by a Sessions Court here on Monday for three counts of keeping 36 Black Pond turtles without a permit and causing pain to the reptiles.

Judge Harmi Thamri Mohamad @ Shaharudin handed down the sentence after Nagoor Kani Kamal Basha and Nizamudeen Shamshudeen admitted to the charges.

Nagoor Kani, 34, and Nizamudeen, 39, were sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment each for keeping 25 female Black Pond turtles without permit which was protected under the second schedule of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 (Act 716).

The judge also jailed both to another 24 months respectively for keeping 11 male Black Pond turtles without permit, which was protected under the same schedule of the Act.

The duo were sentenced to three months’ imprisonment each for putting the turtles in four luggage bags, causing them pain and suffering.

They were charged under Section 70, Section 68(1)(a) and Section 86(1)(c) of the Act respectively.

The offence was committed in a room at Happy Holiday Hotel in Jalan Lou Chung of Jalan Tun Perak here at about 1am on July 26 this year.

Judge Harmi, however, instructed the sentences to run concurrently from the date of arrest on July 26, meaning they have to serve 24 months’ jail each.

In mitigation, Nagoor Kani and Nizamudeen, who were unrepresented, said they were breadwinners and have to support their family and aged parents who were in India. The duo promised not to repeat the offence.

Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) prosecuting officer Nazarudin Kamarudin submitted that the turtles were found in the South-East Asia region namely India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Nazarudin said the Black Pond turtle was a carnivore and could spread salmonella bacterium infection which could cause typhoid fever to humans.

As such, he urged the court to mete out a deterrent sentence which would serve as a lesson to the duo and others.

In the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court, two Indian nationals Ayub Khan Nazeer, 36, and Jaffar Sadik Khaja Mohideen, 32, claimed trial to keeping 1,011 Indian Star tortoises without a permit.

Restaurant worker Ayub Khan and unemployed Jaffar Sadik also face the second charge of causing pain and suffering to the tortoises by putting them in 44 plastic baskets.

The offence was allegedly committed at a Taman Sri Aman low-cost flat at Jalan 22/44, Section 22, here at about 6.30pm on July 25.

Judge Manira Mohd Nor fixed bail at RM10,000 in two Malaysian sureties each pending mention on Aug 30.

The duo who were unrepresented have yet to post the bail. Abd Aziz Mohd Yasin was the prosecuting officer from Perhilitan. -thestar

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