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