Duo land in jail for keeping tortoises

Duo land in jail for keeping tortoises

KUALA LUMPUR: Two Indian nationals were jailed 24 months each by the Sessions Court here over three counts of keeping 36 black pond tortoises without a permit and causing pain and suffering to them.

Judge Harmi Thamri Mohamad @ Shaharudin handed down the sentence after Nagoor Kani Kamal Basha, 29, and Nizamudeen Shamshudeen, 39, admitted to the charge yesterday.

They were sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment each for keeping 25 female black pond tortoises (Geoclemys Hamiltonnii) without a permit, which were protected under second schedule of the Wildlife Conservation Act 2010 (Act 716).

They were jailed another 24 months respectively for keeping 11 male black pond tortoises without a permit.Unknown

Nagoor Kani and Nizamudeen were also sentenced to three months’ jail each for putting the tortoises in four travel bags, causing them pain and suffering.

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

The judge ordered 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 the sole breadwinners and have families and elderly parents in India to support. They promised not to repeat the offence.

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

He said the black pond tortoise was a carnivore and could spread salmonella bacterium infection, which causes typhoid fever in humans.

He urged the court to mete out a deterrent sentence to serve as a lesson.

At the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court, another two Indian nationals – Ayub Khan Nazeer, 36, and Jaffar Sadik Khaja Mohideen, 32 – claimed trial to keeping 1,011 Indian Star Tortoises (Geochelone elegans).

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

The offence was allegedly committed at the Taman Sri Aman Low Cost Flats, Jalan 22/44 Taman Sri Aman, Section 22 Taman Aman 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.

At press time, both accused who were unrepresented had yet to post bail.