Japanese citizens jailed for reptile smuggling
Publish date: 02 December 2019
Issue Number: 852
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
A Japanese citizen with a history of reptile smuggling in Indonesia and Australia has been jailed for six years for illegally catching armadillo girdled lizards in Cape Town, reports TimesLIVE. Yusuke Imanishi and Shintaro Okada, also Japanese, were arrested for the illegal collection and possession of the creatures without the necessary permits or documentation in September. The Cape Town Regional Court handed Yusuke Imanishi a six-year jail sentence for possession of endangered lizards. They entered into a plea and sentencing agreement and were convicted of contravening the Western Cape Nature Conservation Ordinance. Okada was sentenced to four years' direct imprisonment and Imanishi to six years in jail due to his previous convictions for smuggling reptiles. Imanishi was arrested at Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Indonesia with pythons and monitor lizards in his possession. He was jailed for eight months on 31 October 2018 and deported from Indonesia. He was arrested at Perth Airport in Australia with 13 Bobtail lizards (Tiliqua rugosa) in his luggage and sentenced to five months' imprisonment. He was deported on 5 August after serving two months. He entered SA on 19 August and was apprehended with the lizards the following month. Both men were declared undesirable persons by the court. They will serve their sentences in SA and then be deported.