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Three immigrants plead guilty to turtle egg possession

SANDAKAN: Three undocumented immigrants pleaded guilty to possessing 236 turtle eggs at the magistrate’s court here, today.
The accused, Alkubar Hamjan, 33; Abdul Rahman Ebdul; and Abdul Rasah, 60, pleaded guilty to the offence when the charge under Section 41 (1) of the Wildlife Enactment Act 1997 was read to them with the help of a translator.
The charge states that no person should possess any animal of a species listed in Part I of Schedule 1 or an animal product of an animal listed in Part I of Schedule 1 unless authorised in writing by the Minister acting on the advice of the Director.
If convicted, offenders are liable to a fine between RM50,000 and RM250,000, and a jail term between one and five years.
Magistrate Suhaila Selag then set August 21 for case mention before Judge Ummu Khaltom Abd Samad.
She did not allow bail as the three accused, who were unrepresented, did not have an identity card.
The case was prosecuted by Sabah Wildlife Department prosecuting officer Abdul Karin Dakog.
On Aug 7, the trio were arrested separately between 11.30am and 12.15pm at Jalan Pryer and Jalan Buli Sim-Sim during an integrated operation to nab individuals selling and buying turtle eggs.
Alkubar was caught with 83 eggs belonging to the green turtle species while the other two were each nabbed with 23 and 130 turtle eggs in their possession. The eggs were believed to be for sale.
The green turtle or Chelonia mydas is listed as protected marine species under the Part 1 of the Schedule 1 of Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997.
The trio are currently being held at the Sibuga Prison. 

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