KOTA TINGGI: The 33-year-old Chinese national who had trespassed into the Hutan Panti Forest Reserve here has been released by the Johor Forestry Department after paying a fine.
Department director Datuk Salim Aman said that the man, Jason Ren Jie, together with his Malaysian friend Teng Jih Bao, 35, had both confessed to their mistake and agreed to pay the fine.
"We have referred this case to the Deputy Public Prosecutor's office and they have suggested that since the offence was not a criminal act, the department can issue them a compound notice.
"The duo agreed to pay the fine and were released at around 5pm on Wednesday (Sept 21)," he said.
Salim also said that the Chinese national was a Singapore permanent resident.
The case was investigated under Section 47 of the National Forestry Act 1984 for entering the forest reserve without a permit, which carries a fine not exceeding RM10,000 or jailed for not more than three years, or both, upon conviction.
Earlier, Ren was reported missing after hiking at the Hutan Panti Forest Reserve together with Teng, who started their climb at 11.30am on Saturday (Sept 17) before they got separated.
Teng was not able to locate Ren and lodged a police report at 3.26pm on the same day.
Ren was later found by the public who saw the man at the roadside at KM52, Jalan Kota Tinggi-Mersing near Kubu Jepun (Batu 15) at 2.22pm on Sunday (Sept 18).
He was then taken to the Kota Tinggi Hospital for treatment before being handed over to the Johor Forestry Department.