Indonesia: BKSDA seize protected wildlife from foiled smuggling attempts

Djemi Amnifu The Jakarta Post 15 Mar 17;

The East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Natural Resource Conservation Agency (BKSDA) has foiled 37 wildlife smuggling attempts through El Tari Airport in Kupang in the first two months of this year.

“From the figure we can say that NTT is in an emergency status in regards to the trade of protected animals and plants. The figure shows that public awareness around protected wildlife is still very minimal,” NTT BKSDA chief Tamen Sitorus told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

He explained the smugglers tried many different methods in their attempts to avoid the authorities. For example, the smugglers placed wildlife, both alive and dead, inside pipe cylinders, plastic bags or cardboard boxes and then stuffed them inside luggage.

Aviation security officers at El Tari Airport detected the items through X-ray check-ups at passenger gates and at cargo terminals, Tamen added.

(Read also: 2 orangutans confiscated, handed over to conservation agency in West Kalimantan)

From the 37 foiled attempts, the BKSDA office seized three orange-sided trush (zoothera peronei), eight deer antlers, 15 logs of Santigi (pemphis acidula), 12 logs of gaharu (aquilaria mallaccensis), three chambered nautilus, Nautilus pompilius and nine bracelets made from elephant tusks.

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