Wednesday, June 12, 2002
< Two hunters fined Lm1,200 (US $3000.00) for importing bird skins >
Two hunters were yesterday fined Lm1,200 between them after being found
of importing 155 bird skins, practically all from protected species.
The birds included white and black storks, Egyptian vultures, steppe
owls, white pelicans, great white egrets, spoonbills, glossy ibis, black
osprey, kingfishers and flamingos.
David Camilleri, of Mgarr, and Paul Gatt, of Luqa, were charged with
the skins on their return from Egypt in January 1998.
Camilleri was also charged with importing birds valued at Lm4,475, on which
duty of Lm362 as well as Lm671 VAT should have been paid.
Gatt was charged with importing birds valued Lm2,060, which should have
duty and VAT amounting to Lm630.
The court decided that simply because the accused were both passing through
green channel at the airport when they spoke to customs officials about the
skins they were carrying, it did not mean that they tried to avoid paying
customs duty and VAT.
The court however found them guilty of importing skins of protected species.
Gatt was found guilty of importing 46 skins and fined Lm400 while Camilleri
found guilty of importing 109 bird skins and fined Lm800.
Inspector Alexander Miruzzi prosecuted.
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