Man admits to selling a protected juvenile Sunda pangolin to NParks officer on sting operation
A man admitted in court to selling a juvenile Sunda pangolin to a man who turned out to be a National Parks Board (NParks) officer on a sting operation.
On Tuesday, Singaporean Eddy Hairizan Romme Ramdzan, 20, pleaded guilty to one charge of selling protected wildlife without approval under the Wildlife Act.
Two other charges under the same Act will be taken into consideration during his sentencing.
NParks prosecutor Shafiuddin Ong said the juvenile Sunda pangolin, a protected wildlife species under the Wildlife (Protected Wildlife Species) Rules 2020, was found when Eddy and three others went to Bukit Brown on Dec 22, 2022, to look for paranormal activity.
The critically endangered scaly mammal was placed in a warehouse in Tai Seng belonging to Mastermark – a wildlife and bird management specialist and a contractor for NParks – where Eddy was employed.
Strapped for cash, Eddy sought help from his brother-in-law to advertise the pangolin for sale for $500 on various Telegram groups for exotic pet enthusiasts.
On Dec 26, 2022, Eddy’s brother-in-law secured a buyer, who arranged to meet Eddy at a Housing Board block in Choa Chu Kang Avenue 5 for the transaction.
That day, officers from NParks were carrying out a sting operation after receiving information on possible contravention of the Wildlife Act.
At about 2.45am, Eddy gave a pink pet carrier containing the pangolin to the buyer, who was NParks enforcement officer Matthias Ang, in exchange for $500.
Mr Ong said Eddy was aware that selling or taking any wildlife without the written approval from NParks’ director-general of wildlife management is prohibited.
On Tuesday, District Judge Lorraine Ho called for reports to assess Eddy’s suitability for probation and a day reporting order.
He will return to court on Nov 1 for sentencing.
Those who sell protected wildlife without the director-general’s written approval can be fined up to $50,000, jailed for up to two years or both.