A Cunupia businessman was charged yesterday with the illegal possession of eight live agoutis.
Ganesh Mahase pleaded guilty to holding in captivity the protected animals and was fined $800 for each animal.
Last week, two poachers were arrested in Rio Claro with four dead mon-
keys and two armadillos.
In a media release, the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources stated its Wildlife Hotline, 800-HALT (4258), received information and executed a search warrant at Mahase’s premises.
Mahase, owner of Gems Bar in Cunupia, reportedly said the eight live agoutis were in his care for some time.
The animals were found in an open, fenced area to the rear of the compound.
Special Reserve Police (SRP) officer Hem Lee made the arrest, and Mahase and the agoutis were taken to the Cunupia Police Station.
The ministry stated Mahase appeared before Chaguanas Magistrate Brambhanan Dubay, who ordered the fines be paid within 30 days.
The agoutis were placed in the care of Conservator of Forests by court order.