TAWAU (Bernama): Three men who are currently serving a jail term were charged with possessing or conspiring to possess two protected Borneo Pygmy elephant tusks at the Tawau Sessions Court Friday (Nov 15).
The three men, Paranchoi Nordin, 59, Abdullah Simin, 68, and Martin Alok, 44, however, pleaded not guilty after the charge was read before Judge Awang Krishnada Awang Mahmud.
According to the charge sheet, the men had intentionally owned or abetted the possession of two tusks of Borneo Pygmy elephants, a fully protected species as listed in Part 1, Table 1, Number 11 of the Wildlife Protection Enactment 1997, without the written permission of the minister acting on the advice of the director.
The offence took place at Felda Umas 4 and Kampung Felda Umas, Kalabakan between 12.20pm and 12.30pm on Oct 2.
They were charged under Section 41(1) of the Wildlife Protection Enactment 1997 and could be punished under Section 41(4)(a) of the same enactment and read with section 34 of the Penal Code.
If convicted, the accused may be fined not less than RM50,000 and not more than RM250,000 and imprisonment of not less than one year and not more than five years.
The prosecution was led by Deputy Public Prosecutor of the Wildlife Department, Syarifuddin Abdul Rasa and assisted by Prosecuting Officer Abdul Karim Dakog.
The court then fixed the case for the case on Dec 16.
In setting the date, Judge Awang Karnada said there was no issue of bail for the three men as they were all serving a prison term in Tawau.
Parachoi and Abdullah were earlier charged under the Firearms Act and are serving their two-year jail sentence while Martin was earlier charged under the Immigration Act and is serving a two-month jail sentence.
The three pleaded guilty for the previous charges on Oct 22.
Judge Awang Kerisnada also ordered that Martin, who would be freed on Nov 27, to be re-arrested immediately under Section 259 of the Criminal Procedure Code. – Bernama