Thursday, December 29, 2011

‘Perhilitan officers wanted bribe’

December 29, 2011
‘Perhilitan officers wanted bribe’

KUANTAN: A pet shop owner is accusing a Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) officer of trying to solicit a bribe because he had in his possession a species of turtle protected under the Wildlife Conserva­tion Act 2010.

Hui Woon Chian, 51, claimed that three officers from Perhilitan visited his premises in Jalan Darat Makbar here on Dec 7 to carry out an inspection.

“But they did not show any identification nor did they have a warrant,” he said.

“One of them said he was a high-ranking officer and need not show me identification,” said Hui.

“They searched my shop. Then, they found three turtles on the front counter.

“The officer said the red-eared slider turtles were protected species and that I could be fined RM200,000 for each of them.

“He then said I should pay him so that I would not be fined,” he said after lodging a police report.

Hui said he was shocked by the “offer” and asked his sons to take photographs of him and the officer with the turtles.

“The officer was surprised by my action and tried to avoid having his picture taken.

“We had an argument when the other officers tried to intervene.

“They left after taking down our particulars,” he said.

To Hui’s surprise, he and his sons were summoned to the Kuantan police headquarters the next day to provide statements for allegedly injuring a Perhilitan officer.

“We were arrested and had to be bailed out. We did not hurt anyone.”

Hui’s wife Choi Yuet Hoe said after the incident, several Perhilitan officers returned to their shop and intimidated her.

“This time, they carried rifles and wore belts with bullets,” she said.

“They searched our shop again and asked about the turtles. I told them they had been taken to the police station. Then they left,” said Choi, who also lodged a separate police report.

Pahang Perhilitan director Khairiah Mohd Shariff said she has not received any report on the matter and could not comment.

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