Ex-rep’s family members quizzed over turtle eggs

KOTA KINABALU: Wildlife investigators have recorded statements from family members linked to a former assemblyman involved in a Chinese New Year reunion dinner where turtle eggs were allegedly served.

Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga confirmed that an investigation was being conducted.

He, however, declined to reveal the number of people questioned in connection with the probe.

“Let him (investigating officer) do his work without much interruption from me, ” he said yesterday.

A family member of the former assemblyman had posted on Facebook pictures of the reunion dinner which included turtle eggs, which are protected.

The dinner was believed to have taken place in Beluran, but it was not known if the former assemblyman was present.

The posts were later taken down but screenshots of the dinner had gone viral with social media users demanding a full investigation.

Over the past few days, concerned citizens have been insinuating that there would be no further action as the case involved family members of a former assemblyman.

State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Jafry Ariffin stepped in to allay any public concerns by ordering the department to carry out a full probe without fear or favour.

Jafry, however, said that there was concern among investigators that they would not be able to get a conviction based on photographs as there was no hard evidence of the eggs.

A local turtle conservationist, Alexander Yee, had offered a RM10,000 reward for anyone who could provide information that could lead to the arrests and conviction of those involved in serving the turtle eggs at the reunion dinner.

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