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 Local

Businessman acquitted of trying to smuggle out pangolin scales worth over RM100m

30th June, 2020

By ERSIE CHELL ANJUMIN

KOTA KINABALU: A seafood businessman was yesterday freed of a charge of attempting to export 8,085 kilograms (kg) of pangolin scales.

Sessions Court Judge Elsie Primus acquitted and discharged Chai Kok Hiong, 46, of the charge after the prosecution failed to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt.

Chai was charged with filling 227 sacks with 8,058kg of pangolin scales worth more than RM100 million.

The pangolin scales were found inside two containers at the Sepanggar Port near here at 2.35pm on July 13, 2017.

He was charged under Section 135(1)(a) of the Customs Act 1967, punishable under Section 135(1)(iii)(aa) of the same Act and read together with Section 139 of the same Act.

The offence carries a fine of not less than 10 times and not more than 20 times the value of the goods, or a jail term not exceeding three years or both.

During the trial, the prosecution had called 27 witnesses while the defence called one witness.

The case was first brought to court in September 24, 2018 and Chai, who pleaded not guilty was released on a RM80,000 bail with one local surety.

Chai was represented by counsel, Korventt Wheezar E Jomiji.

   
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