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Two men who were allegedly caught by the police with 71 protected animals, 47 of which died, in the trunk of their vehicles were each granted $20,000 bail on Monday.

Curton Benjamin, 39, a PH driver, and Jumel Sylvester, 33, a labourer, both of Diego Martin, were charged by senior game warden Steve Seepersad with a total of 71 charges of being in possession of protected animals without a licence. In keeping with the COVID-19 guidelines implemented by the Judiciary, the matter was not heard by a magistrate. Guardian Media was told that once the offence is minor and there is no objection to bail, the alleged offenders would be granted bail at a police station by a Justice of the Peace and given a date to appear in court.

As a result Benjamin and Sylvester were each granted $20,000 by a Justice of the Peace at the Siparia Police Station. Their relatives were accepted as their surety.

According to a police report, Santa Flora police received information that led them to intercept two vehicles proceeding along Beach Road, Palo Seco around 12.30 pm on Saturday. The drivers were the only occupants in each vehicle. The police searched and found the animals in the trunks, including the carcasses of 43 birds and one otter. After that two more otters and a bird died.

Benjamin was charged with 46 counts of possession of protected animals, including 40 parrots, the four otters, and two monkeys while Sylvester was charged with 25 counts of possession of protected birds.

Benjamin and Sylvester were told to attend court on April 30.