Indaraj Mahabir, 50, and his son Kimraj have appeared before Chaguanas Magistrate Christine Charles charged with poaching the Scarlet Ibis.
The men were not called upon to plead when they appeared Monday afternoon as the charges were laid indictably. The magistrate eventually granted them bail in the sum of $90,000 each. Charles also warned them not to enter the Caroni Bird Sanctuary.
The defendants, who were represented by attorney Taradath Singh, were also charged with hunting iguanas on state lands without a license. The pleaded not guilty to this charge, which is a summary offence.
The Mahabirs, of Warren Road, Beujcal, were held yesterday by game wardens and allegedly had five carcasses of the protected birds in their possession for having in their possession, along with seven iguanas. While it is not illegal to hunt iguanas during the current hunting season, the men allegedly could not produce the required permit.
Both men can face a hefty fine of $.5 million each and possible two years imprisonment if found guilty on the substantive charge.
The Scarlet Ibis is an Environmentally Sensitive Species (ESS) under the Environmentally Sensitive Species Rules and possession incurs a fine of up to $100,000 for each bird, with the possibility of up to 2 years imprisonment.
Both matters were adjourned to December 21.
Reporter: Rhondor Dowlat
Source: TT Guardian: https://bit.ly/2r6mZh1