Trader fined RM30k for maltreatment, possession of 48 tortoises

KANGAR: A trader was fined RM30,000 by the Sessions Court today after he pleaded guilty to two counts of maltreatment and possessing 48 tortoises without a valid permit in Padang Besar last Saturday.

Lim Chuan Kim, 34, from Penang, pleaded guilty when the charges were read before Judge Johari Hassan.

For the first count, he was charged with possessing 48 tortoises without a special permit, which were stored in an MPV at a petrol station in Padang Besar about 1.45pm on Saturday.

He was charged under Section 69(1) of the Wildlife Conservation Enactment 2010 (Act 716) which carries fine of up to RM200,000 or jail term not more than 10 years, if found guilty.

Lim, who was not represented, also pleaded guilty to another charge of maltreatment by storing the animals in 48 transparent polystyrene containers, under Section 86(1)(b) of the same enactment, at the same time and place.

The charge carries a fine up to RM50,000 or jail term not more than a year, or both upon conviction.

Lim pleaded for leniency, claiming that he was not aware that it was an offence to possess the tortoises without a valid permit.

Johari subsequently fined the accused RM10,000 for the first charge and RM20,000 for the second charge.

The prosecution was carried out by National Wildlife Department prosecution officer Shahruddin Othman.