Tuesday, October 20

Sisters-in-law fined RM5,000 each for selling turtle eggs

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The sisters-in-law are seen outside the courtroom.

KUCHING: The Sessions Court here yesterday fined two sisters-in-law RM5,000 each in default three months’ jail for selling turtle eggs during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period.

Judge Marutin Pagan convicted Siti Haminah Ten, 48, and Rohayu Elias, 37, on their own guilty pleas to possessing 240 turtle eggs without permission from the Controller of Wild Life.

They were convicted under Section 29 (1) of the Wild Life Protection Ordinance 1998 and sentenced under Section 29 (1) (c) of the same Act.

The Section provides for an imprisonment term of two years and a fine of RM25,000.

It is understood neither woman paid the fine.

According to the charge, the women, who were unrepresented by counsel, committed the offence on June 3, at 4.19pm in front of a government school located in Petra Jaya, Kuching.

Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) enforcement personnel conducted a raid and detained the two women.

They had in their possession turtle eggs from the Cheloniidae family, which are protected and listed under Part 1 of Schedule 1 under the Wild Life Protection Ordinance 1988.

In mitigation, the women who live in the same house, appealed for a lighter sentence as they do not have fixed incomes and have to support their families.

“My sister-in-law (Haminah) and I had to sell turtle eggs because it was our main source of income during MCO. I have four children and elderly parents to support as well,” second accused Rohayu told the court.

However, deputy public prosecutor Voon Yan Sin sought a sentence that would serve as a deterrent to other potential offenders.