Indonesia: Hundreds of illegal birds confiscated at Surakarta airport

Ganug Nugroho Adi The Jakarta Post 23 Aug 16;

Customs officers at Adi Sumarmo Airport in Surakarta, Central Java, confiscated on Monday more than 300 birds sent from Kualanamu Airport in Medan, North Sumatra, using fake documents.

The birds, which comprise several different species, were put inside a large case and equipped with a quarantine letter. In the letter, it stated the case contained 87 birds, containing three different species, namely the oriental magpie-robin or locally known as kacer, lovebird and blue-winged leafbird or also popular known as cucak ranting.

After a thorough inspection, the officers found the cargo contained 332 birds with 10 different species. They said the cargo’s content was not a match with the documents and that they were probably falsified.

“We didn’t deliver the birds to the recipient because we considered the documents as not valid,” the airport’s agriculture quarantine coordinator, M.Farid, said at the Tarui Jurug Animal Park (TSTJ) in Surakarta, on Monday.

Improper handling: Officials find more than a half of the 332 birds they confiscated during an operation at Adi Sumarmo Airport in Surakarta, Central Java, on Monday, died due to improper handling. ( Nugroho Adi)

Farid said hundreds of birds confiscated were sent by Joko Perdana in Medan to a recipient identified only as Harno in Surakarta. The confiscation began from the customs officers’ suspicions over the large case, he went on.

“The case was very large, where it was unlikely that it only contained 87 birds. Therefore, the officers opened the case, witnessed by the recipient,” said Farid. He said 193 out of the 332 birds died due to improper handling while several of the remaining 139 birds were wounded.

Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) Surakarta official Joko Triono said those birds were not categorized as protected species but their handling and delivery process had violated existing rules. (ebf)