Indonesia: Illegal snake-skin trade thwarted in North Sumatra

Apriadi Gunawan The Jakarta Post 31 May 17;

The North Sumatra office of the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) thwarted an illegal attempt to trade snake-skin at Belawan Port in Medan, North Sumatra, on Tuesday.

Hundreds of python skins were about to be sent to a recipient in Karawang regency, West Java, according to Zakaria, a BKSDA official.

Zakaria said the delivery attempt was foiled at about 9:45 a.m.

About 350 snake-skins were put in a sack to be sent on a ship to Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta.

Officials checked the shipment and allege that the sender, Riduan Plipus Sitohang, did not have a permit for trading in wildlife parts.

“This is an illegal delivery. There were no completed documents. Furthermore, it is illegal to trade python skins,” Zakaria told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

Officials at the port claim that Riduan told them he sold the skins for around Rp 25,000 per sheet.

Riduan said it took him about a month to cut, skin and dry the 350 snake-skins.

He reportedly added that many people killed the snakes and sold them to him at his house.

Riduan is also reported to have said that his customers like python skins because they can be fashioned into clothes, bags, shoes and jackets.

Besides selling the skins domestically, officials said he also claimed to have exported snake-skins to China and South Korea. (rin)

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