Madagascan NCOs jailed for smuggling in Reunion

10th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

SAINT-DENIS-DE-LA REUNION, Feb 10 (AFP) - Two soldiers of Madagascar's army were sentenced to prison terms and heavy fines by a court in the French Indian Ocean territory of Reunion Thursday for smuggling dozens of rare tortoises.

SAINT-DENIS-DE-LA REUNION, Feb 10 (AFP) - Two soldiers of Madagascar's army were sentenced to prison terms and heavy fines by a court in the French Indian Ocean territory of Reunion Thursday for smuggling dozens of rare tortoises.

The two were arrested Tuesday after they arrived with some 50 colleagues at a French military airbase here for training, and a customs check found 188 radiated tortoises (Geochelone radiata) in their kitbags.

The pair said they intended to sell or barter the animals, which are found only in Madagascar and protected by international convention, to eke out their monthly pay of EUR 90 (USD 115).

The two non-commissioned officers were sentenced Thursday to two weeks in jail and fines of EUR 24,400 and EUR 13,200 respectively, after a customs officer said the tortoises were worth up to EUR 500 each.

A third soldier is to appear in court next week after he was found in possession of 5,900 tablets of Artane (trihexyphenidyl), which is used to treat Pakinson's disease but can also have a narcotic effect.

© AFP

Subject: French News

0 Comments To This Article