Poachers held with 5 Scarlet Ibis carcasses

Two poach­ers were held and charged by game war­dens Sun­day for hav­ing five car­cass­es of one of T&T’s pro­tect­ed na­tion­al birds, the Scar­let Ibis.

If charged, the men will face a hefty fine of $.5 mil­lion each and two years’ im­pris­on­ment.

The poach­ers were said to have been at the Ca­roni Bird Sanc­tu­ary Sun­day morn­ing when they were stopped and searched by the game war­dens.

Game war­dens al­so found igua­na car­cass­es along­side the Scar­let Ibis, but it is of­fi­cial­ly hunt­ing sea­son so no charges can be laid in con­nec­tion with them. Both men are ex­pect­ed to be charged with the of­fence.

The Scar­let Ibis is an En­vi­ron­men­tal­ly Sen­si­tive Species (ESS) pro­tect­ed un­der the En­vi­ron­men­tal­ly Sen­si­tive Species Rules and pos­ses­sion of them can see per­pe­tra­tors fined up to $100,000 for each bird, with the pos­si­bil­i­ty of up to two years’ im­pris­on­ment.

Com­ment­ing the lat­est ar­rest, Min­is­ter of Agri­cul­ture Clarence Ramb­harat, in a so­cial me­dia post, con­firmed that in­struc­tions have been giv­en to Forestry Di­vi­sion of­fi­cials to lay charges un­der the ESS Rules.

“I thank the of­fi­cers in­volved for their ded­i­ca­tion to stamp­ing out this crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ty. Over to the Trinidad and To­ba­go Po­lice Ser­vice and the Mag­is­tra­cy,” Ramb­harat said.

On Oc­to­ber 15, two Chi­nese na­tion­als and a Trinida­di­an were spared be­ing sent to prison af­ter they ad­mit­ted to pos­ses­sion of the car­cass of a ju­ve­nile Scar­let Ibis.

The trio was held on Oc­to­ber 14 with the pro­tect­ed bird while at El So­cor­ro by Game War­den Richard Ram­lo­gan.

The ac­cused, Jaing Hui Feng, 30, a restau­rant man­ag­er in the El So­cor­ro area, Jin Feng Feng, 30, a cook at the restau­rant and Alion Ramkhawan, a handy­man, of San Juan, ap­peared be­fore Mag­is­trate Sa­nara Toon in the Third Court and plead­ed guilty to the of­fence.

Source: TT Guardian https://bit.ly/2TM4NpR

Reporter: Rhondor Dowlat

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