YouTuber to face prison time for smuggling monkeys into Turkey
Three macaque monkeys have been seized from the YouTuber to date after İzgi got accused of separating them from their mothers and driving them to death.
The indictment prepared by the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office noted that the value of the monkey that İzgi was looking after without legal permission was 10,000 Turkish Liras ($1,300).
The prosecutor stated that İzgi committed the crime of “smuggling” in a chain, and demanded that he should be sentenced to imprisonment for up to 10 years and six months for this reason.
Macaque monkeys hold the status of being “predator” species within the scope of the Contract for the Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) and are one of the primates who are prohibited to be kept for entertainment purposes, according to the indictment.
If the indictment is accepted, İzgi and a woman named Elif T., who is allegedly involved in the crime, will be tried at the Istanbul Criminal Court of First Instance.
In September, anti-smuggling police raided İzgi’s home in Istanbul’s Sarıyer district for the third time and detained him for violating an international treaty against the smuggling of macaque monkeys.
The monkeys have been handed over to the local wildlife authority to receive proper care.