Indonesia: Organized crime group could be behind elephant killing in Aceh

The Jakarta Post 5 Jul 18;

The Environment and Forestry Ministry suspects the recent killing of a tame elephant in East Aceh was masterminded by an organized crime group, Antara reported.

Bunta, a 27-year-old male elephant from Conservation Response Unit (CRU) Serbajadi in Bunin village, Serbajadi district, East Aceh, was found dead last month. One of its tusks had been removed, and the elephant was believed to have died of intentional poisoning.

“[Illegal] hunting is a very serious problem because it is an organized, cross-border crime," the ministry's biodiversity conservation director Indra Exploitasia said as quoted by Antara.

Indra said the ministry and the police were determined to find all perpetrators behind the killing, adding that they were developing the investigation to look for a possible criminal network in the case.

The police have arrested two suspects in the case, who are both residents of villages surrounding Serbajadi CRU. The police have also found and confiscated the missing tusk.

“But there are still two other names that [we are still pursuing]. Hopefully, both will be arrested soon,” said East Aceh Police chief detective Adj. Comr. Erwin S. Wilogo. (stu/ipa)