Men pay $50,000 each for turtle

Saturday, September 22, 2018

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MICHAEL Harris and Clive McNuff were each fined $50,000.00 breaches under the Wildlife Protection Act (WLPA) when they appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on Wednesday.

The men were filmed killing a turtle at 9 Miles, Bull Bay in St Andrew on June 6, 2018. Previously, the defendants pleaded guilty to hunting a protected animal (WLPA section 6) and possessing the whole or any part of a protected animal (WLPA section 6A).

Harris and McNuff were both arrested in July arrested, charged and granted bail with surety in the sum of $100,000, following an investigation undertaken by the Jamaica Constabulary Force's (JCF's) Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch.

Miguel Nelson, manager, Enforcement Branch, NEPA, praised the work of the police in the matter. He said, “Wildlife crimes are difficult to investigate because there is usually no complainant, and witnesses are unwilling to come forward. The high-level investigation by the JCF in this particular case guaranteed success.”

NEPA has, meanwhile, reminded the public that turtles are protected under the WLPA. Under section 6 of the WLPA, individuals found guilty of hunting or in possession (whole or part) of any protected animal are liable to pay a maximum fine of $100,000 or face a term of imprisonment not exceeding 12 months.

The agency has also encouraged the public to continue to report any potential breaches of Jamaica's environmental laws to NEPA.

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