Indonesia: Three nabbed for hunting Sumatran tigers

Apriadi Gunawan The Jakarta Post 26 May 16;

A joint team comprising personnel from Mount Leuser National Park and the Langkat Police has arrested three members of an alleged Sumatran tiger poaching group in protected forests within the national park in Marike subdistrict, Langkat, North Sumatra. Groups of poachers of rare and endangered Sumatran tigers are believed to have long been operating in the protected forests.

Mt. Leuser section V head Palber Turnip said the alleged tiger poachers had long been targeted by rangers for hunting endangered species in the national park. He claimed to have evidence of the sales of endangered species.

“I once pretended to be a buyer when a suspect claimed that he could provide me bear and deer pelts. All the pelts offered were from rare animals they obtained from hunting in the national park,” Palber told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

He said the arrests were made following a tip-off from residents that a person intended to sell a tiger pelts and other organs. Based on the information, added Palber, the joint team then moved to the location, with one team member pretending to be a buyer.

“The price agreed to for the tiger skin and other organs was Rp 42 million [about US$3,139]. The transaction and handover of goods were carried out in a plantation around the Marike subdistrict,” Palber, a member of the joint team, said.

Based on the agreement, they met with a group of three alleged poachers in a plantation in Marike on Tuesday afternoon. When the suspects showed the tiger skin and other organs to the undercover officer, the other team members immediately arrested them.

“The three poachers did not resist arrest. They were immediately taken to the Langkat Police station for processing,” said Palber.

The suspects, identified as Dedi, 25; Ledes, 28; and Hendra Tarigan, 25; are all from Bahorok subdistrict, Langkat regency.

Langkat Police detective chief Adj. Comr. Agus Sobarna Praja said that based on questioning, the suspects did not work on their own and only served as intermediaries.

Dedi said that the tiger skin had been obtained from a person named Bukti Sembiring, who was still at large. Bukti is suspected to have hunted the wildlife by trapping and then handing the caught animals to the suspects for them to sell.

“He often hunts tigers in the national park and offers the pelts at Rp 25 million,” said Dedi at the Langkat Police on Wednesday.

Poaching of endangered Sumatran tigers is rampant in the national park. Sumatran tigers are hunted and killed not only for their skins but also their organs.

Three members of a Sumatran tiger skin trading network were arrested recently and sentenced to two years in prison.

Three residents arrested for hunting Sumatran tiger
Antara 25 May 16;

Langkat, N Sumatra (ANTARA News) - The police of Langkat District, North Sumatra, have arrested three residents on charges of hunting a Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) in Kutagajah Village of Kutambaru Sub-district.

"The three suspects are being questioned intensively," Chief of Langkat Police Adjunct Senior Commissioner Mulya Hakim Solichin stated here on Wednesday.

The three suspects identified as PA alias Dedi (25), HT alias Hendra (25), and DS or Deden (28) were the residents of Bungaran Hamlet of Ujung Bandar Village of Bahorok Sub-district.

The Langkat Police and personnel of the Mount Leuser National Park Authority arrested them on Tuesday evening along with some evidence comprising a dried tiger skin, a plastic bag containing tiger bones, and two motorcycles.

The local authority had earlier received a tip-off from a local resident that someone was interested in selling tiger skin and bones in the Sogong Hamlet of Kuta Gajah Village in Kutambaru Sub-district.

The tiger skin and bones were valued at Rp42 million (roughly US$3 thousand).

The local police deployed its personnel to investigate the report and arrested the suspects and took them to the Langkat Police Office for further investigation.

The three suspects are charged with violating the law on nature and ecosystem conservation and face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum fine of Rp100 million.(*)

Indonesia arrests 3 men accused of poaching Sumatran tigers
The alleged wildlife poachers were believed to have hunted the tigers within the protected forests of Mount Leuser National Park on Indonesia's vast, main western island of Sumatra.
Channel NewsAsia 26 May 16;

JAKARTA: Three men accused of poaching rare Sumatran tigers in Indonesia have been arrested, an official said Thursday (May 26), with police seizing animal hides, bones and teeth during raids.

The alleged wildlife poachers were believed to have hunted the tigers within the protected forests of Mount Leuser National Park on Indonesia's vast, main western island of Sumatra.

Sumatran tigers are considered a critically endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with fewer than 400 remaining in the wild.

"I hope with this arrest, people will understand that protected wildlife is very important not only for Indonesia but the world," Bambang Dahono Adji, a senior official at Indonesia's environment and forestry ministry, told AFP.

Tiger skins, bones and teeth were found at the homes of the alleged poachers during raids by police. The tigers are hunted for their body parts, which are used in traditional Chinese medicine and fetch high prices.

Investigations are still under way to determine whether the men were involved in a wider wildlife smuggling syndicate.

Adji said tougher laws had been proposed to crackdown on poachers, as the existing regulations were too lenient on offenders and did not serve as an effective deterrent.

"We want harsher punishments, and I hope the parliament will act quickly to legislate these revisions," he said.

Last August police in Aceh, at the northern tip of Sumatra island, arrested four men for allegedly killing a Sumatran tiger and trying to sell its body parts.

Apart from being hunted, the animals are also under threat from the destruction of their rainforest habitat to make way for palm oil as well as pulp and paper plantations.

- AFP/rw

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