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Inviato da Wes von Papinešu on Gennaio 03, 2000 at 20:45:41:
NEW STRAITS TIMES (Berhad, Malaysia) 30 September 99 Snake smuggler's jail term doubled
Kangar: A seven-day jail sentence on a snake smuggler was today doubled by the High Court to serve as a deterrent and because more than half the snakes had died.
Judge Datuk Vincent Ng Kim Khoy, who had earlier dismissed the appeal by Gek Sing Kalliappan, 28, to set aside the prison sentence, said the death of 1,893 snakes had caused severe problems to the authorities handling the case.
"Kalliappan is in a way lucky because I had considered many things in (judging) this case," said Ng.
Ng, who had earlier asked Kalliappan's counsel S. Devandran to provide reasons why the prison sentence of his client should not be enhanced, said he had also considered the maximum three years jail provided by the law for such offences.
Devandran, in his submission, said his client was a first offender and the prison sentence which had tarnished the image of Kalliappan and his family was unprecedented.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Abdul Razak Musa replied that based on the facts of the case, the main reason the snakes died was the attempt to hide them under a plastic covering while they were being transported.
Ng, in dismissing the appeal, said magistrate Azizan Md Arshad had not erred in his decision after taking into account the need to impose a deterrent sentence.
"The magistrate had, in less than three months, handled four snake smuggling cases and it was obvious that the fine of between RM3,000 and RM4,000 imposed on the smugglers had not served as a deterrent."
Ng said the snakes seized in the previous cases were auctioned and the fact that there were ready bidders suggested that there was a "sinister plot" to ignore the law against snake smuggling.
He said it should also be considered that the snakes involved in the case were estimated to be worth about RM80,000 while its normal auction price coupled with the RM11,000 fine imposed against Kalliappan only amounted to about RM55,000.
"Perlis is well known for its snake smuggling activities but since the jail sentence there have been no such cases in the State."
Kalliappan, who was detained during a botched attempt to smuggle in 2,923 snakes, was sentenced to seven days' jail and fined RM11,000 by the magistrate's court on April 19.
He had pleaded guilty to two counts of illegal possession of the snakes and one count of cruelty to animals after being caught acting as the attendant of the Thai registered lorry carrying the snakes.
His first charge was under Section 68 (Amendment 1988) of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 for being in possession of 105 Asiatic Cobra, scientifically known as Naja Naja, and was sentenced to seven days' jail and fined RM3,000.
The second charge under the same section was for possession of 2,441 Oriental Rat Snakes, scientifically known as Ptyas Mucosus and he was sentenced to another seven days jail and fined RM3,000.
For the offence of cruelty to animals, Kalliappan was sentenced to another seven days jail and fined RM5,000 under Schedule 2, item 422 and 433 of Section 92(1) (c) (Amendment 1988) Wildlife Protection Act 1972.
Ng said Kalliappan's enhanced sentence of 14 days jail on each of the three charges was to run concurrently, like the initial sentences. He upheld the fines imposed