Muscat: The Court of Appeals has sentenced six citizens of the same family to six months in jail and a fine of RO 3,000 each after they were found guilty of poaching. The convicted hunters shot dead four Arabian gazelles in Yiti-Wadi Al Hilu in Muscat Governorate on July 27, 2017. They drove their 4WD (Toyota FJ Cruiser) up the mountain prompting an investigation by the wildlife inspectors of the Environment Conservation Office at the Diwan of Royal Court and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs. The residents confirmed that the same car had been sighted several times in the same area.
The vehicle was monitored until the next morning when the inspectors headed to the site at 6 am and caught six people red-handed with poaching four Arabian gazelles using firearms. Cops arrested the culprits and took legal action following coordination with the Royal Oman Police (ROP). The judge ordered the seizure of the vehicle and the firearms that were used in the crime. As per the Law on Nature Reserves and Wildlife Conservation, anyone who is found guilty of intentionally killing, hunting or smuggling any animals, birds, plants or genetic materials that are deemed protected should be sentenced to a jail term not exceeding five years and not less than six months and a fine not less than RO 1,000 and not exceeding RO 5,000 or any of the two penalties.
The sentence can also involve the confiscation of animals, birds, plants or genetic materials found in possession of the violator together with equipment, tools, devices and means of transport.