KOTA KINABALU: A Sea gypsy (Bajau Pelau) was sentenced to three years’ jail and fined RM60,000 for possessing turtle meat and shell.
Karan Dati, 35, will be required to serve another year in jail if he failed to pay the fine.
He was handed the sentence after he pleaded guilty before Tawau Sessions Court judge Awang Krisnada Awang Mahmud on Thursday (Jan 25).
He was charged under the Wildlife Conservation Enactment Act after being caught with four slices of green turtle meat and shell at about 1.30pm on Jan 14 at Pulau Karindingan off Semporna district.
Karan was nabbed while on his boat by Maritime officials, who suspected he was illegally hunting the protected species.
Authorities also found tools in the boat which they suspect were used to hunt turtles.
Another man who was with Karan was also being investigated under the Immigration Act. Both were found to be undocumented.
Sabah Wildlife Department official Abdul Karim Dakog prosecuted.
Karan could have been fined up to RM250,000 and jailed up to five years for the offence.