According to art. 258.1 and 222 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation the district court of the city of Ussuriysk has sentenced a citizen who had kept parts of the body of seven Amur tigers, to a penalty of imprisonment of 1.5 years and a fine of 25 thousand rubles was.
The police detained a citizen carrying bones of an Amur tiger in his car on the federal highway "Khabarovsk-Vladivostok". During the operative-search activities, the police established addresses where intruders could store body parts of rare animal species. During the searches, a skull of a tiger and a saiga horn were found. The "Red Book Merchant" was found guilty and sentenced to 160 hours of compulsory labor.
Another citizen kept the bones of seven Amur tigers of varying degrees of freshness and ammunition. Due to the fact that the investigation failed to prove the criminal connection between these two persons, the case was proceeded separately, the detainee was brought to trial. According to the materials of the court session, the crimes were committed in the fall of 2014 on the territory of Ussuriysk urban district. According to the defendant, he purchased body parts particularly valuable and rare species of animals from an unidentified person, which he stored together with 16 cartridges for the Makarov pistol in a firewood barn next to his house.
The court sentenced the man to a 1,5-year suspension with a probation period of 1.5 years, with a fine of 25,000 rubles for committing a crime under part 1 of Article 258.1 of the Criminal Code (illegal acquisition, storage of body parts Valuable and rare species of animals) and part 1 of article 222 of the Criminal Code (illegal acquisition and storage of ammunition). The investigation so far failed to establish who had sold body parts of rare animals to the defendant, the materials of this case were separated into a separate proceeding.
Experts, including the specialists of the Amur Tiger Center, believe that the verdict handed down by the court is not strict enough, and does not correspond to the degree of guilt of the person, the victim of whom was a rare animal.
"The verdict is ambiguous and, in our opinion, the punishment under art. 258.1 of the Criminal Code, does not correspond to the degree of the defendant’s guilt. According to the case materials, the seized bones belonged to the Amur tigers who died at different times. So not all the bones were acquired at the same time, they were being piled up for a long time," commented Sergei Aramilev, director of the Primorsky branch of the Amur Tiger Center.
Poaching is one of the main threats to the existence of a stable population of the Red Book predator. Tigers are shot illegally primarily because of the high demand not only for the skin of a tiger, but also for parts of its body that are widely used for the manufacture of medicines in traditional Chinese medicine. According to experts, to prevent cases of poaching for rare animals, it is necessary to identify all links in the chain of criminal business: from illegal production to the buyer. This will allow to establish all channels of the sale of illegal hunting products. To this end, it was decided to toughen the responsibility for the illegal shooting of particularly valuable species of animals listed in the Red Book of Russia. Innovations allow to punish all persons involved in the murder of a tiger with different degrees of responsibility quite severely, depending on the degree of participation in the crime.
"It is because of the demand, which is formed by means of the criminal activities of such traders, as the condemned resident of Ussuriysk, the Red Book animals are killed. Sometimes fine is more effective than imprisonment, since it makes this business unprofitable. We hope that the prosecutor's office will appeal this sentence, and the citizen will receive a punishment more adequate to his misdeeds," said Aramilev.