Nine Indonesians jailed, fined for illegally possessing gaharu wood

SIBU: Nine Indonesians have been sentenced to three months' jail and fined RM500 in default two weeks imprisonment each by the Kapit Sessions Court on Wednesday (June 22) for possessing gaharu wood, a protected species.

Judge Marutin Pagan ordered Ujang Salaiman, 38; Paulus Unta 39; Senin Unan, 24; Johnny Lidi, 31; Agus Malik, 38; Suhaili Duri, 39; Layong Embas, 31; Jawang Abu, 20 and Akob Abu, 22 to serve the sentence from the date of their arrest on April 23.

According to the facts of the case, a team of eight officers from the Sarawak Forestry Corporation together with five marine policemen, at about 5pm on April 23 inspected a logging area in Sungai Melatai, Kapit.

During the inspection, they encountered the nine accused in possession of 22.09kg of gaharu wood (Aquilaria Becariana) without license.

Gaharu is a protected plant under the Wildlife Protection Ordinance 1998.

The nine accused had thus committed an offence under Section 30(2) of the Ordinance.

Four of the nine accused were also charged with and received an additional sentence for being in possession of protected wild animal body parts.

Duri and Akob Abu were sentenced to another three months' jail and fined RM500 each for possessing 1,080 pieces of pangolin scales.

They were charged under Section 29(2) of the Wildlife Protection Ordinance 1998.

Two others, Jawang Abu and Embas, received a heavier penalty under Section 37(1) of the same Ordinance.

They pleaded guilty to having in their possession a beak and two wings of the Helmeted Hornbill, and four wings of the Rhinoceros Hornbill.

The duo were sentenced to another three months' jail and fined RM500.

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