This is the first part of a series on the court system in Trinidad and Tobago and how it works. The court system has three levels. There is:
• the Magistrates’ Court—the first level;
Cunupia businessman Ganesh Mahase was on Tuesday slapped with $800 in fines after pleading guilty to having eight agoutis in captivity at his home. Mahase, owner of Gems Bar, Cunupia, pleaded guilty when he appeared before Chaguanas Third Court Magistrate Brambhanan Dubay. The animals were brought to court. Mahase admitted he had the protected animal in captivity, at Chin Chin Road, Cunupia, on Monday.
Police prosecutor Sgt Ken Ali told the court when Mahase’s home was searched game wardens found the agoutis in an open fenced area at the rear of the premises. He told the game wardens that he had the animals in captivity for some time. Mahase was arrested by Special Reserve police officer Hem Lee and the agoutis were taken to the Cunupia Police Station.
The exercise was co-ordinated by Mervyn Pierre, manager of security services at WASA, along with officer Hem Lee, WASA Estate Constables Sinanan and Mohan and T&T Security Services Estate Inspector Ramoo and members of the Central Division Police Task Force. Mahase’s arrest followed a tip-off to the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources Wildlife Hotline 800-HALT (4258.)
Dubay ordered Mahase to pay $800, $100 for each agouti, immediately or serve 30 days in prison. The magistrate ordered the agoutis to be handed over to the care of the Conservator of Forests.
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