Indonesia: Russian accused of trying to smuggle drugged orangutan from Bali

Ni Komang Erviani The Jakarta Post 23 Mar 19;

Dewa Delanata, head of the airport’s quarantine office, said the orangutan had been drugged and placed in a basket.

"The Russian deliberately used an inhumane method to take the orangutan to Russia," the official said on Saturday.

The Russian has been identified as ZA.

The quarantine officer and airport security found the orangutan at the international departure area at around 10:30 p.m. on Friday, Dewa said. "At first, we thought it was a monkey. The officers were afraid to open the basket, as they thought the monkey would be aggressive and run loose in the departure area.”

The basket was then taken to a room for further examination.

"When it was taken to the examination room and we opened it, we were shocked to find an orangutan," he said.

ZA claimed to have bought the orangutan for $US 3,000. The orangutan had been drugged, causing it to lose consciousness for two to three hours.

"The Russian also had injections and drugs in his bag. He said he planned to re-administer the drugs when they transited in Korea," Dewa added.

The officer also found two geckos and five lizards in the Russian's suitcase.

The case has been reported to the airport police for further investigation. The orangutan has been handed over to the Bali Natural Resources Conservation Agency ( BKSDA) to receive treatment.

Russian faces 5 years in prison for trying to smuggle baby orangutan
Ni Komang Erviani The Jakarta Post 25 Mar 19;

A Russian citizen identified as Zhestkov Andrei is facing a maximum of five years in prison after being accused of trying to smuggle a baby orangutan from Bali to Russia. Police confirmed that Andrei would be charged under the 1990 Conservation Law.

The suspect allegedly attempted to smuggle an orangutan, which is a protected animal as regulated in Law No.5/1990 on conservation of living natural resources and their ecosystems. "If found guilty, he could face a maximum of five years' imprisonment or Rp 100 million in fines," Denpasar Police chief Sr. Comr. Ruddi Setiawan told a press conference at I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport in Badung, Bali, on Monday.

Andrei was arrested at the airport's international departure gate on Friday night, as he was allegedly trying to smuggle the two-year-old baby orangutan to Russia. He is also accused of trying to take two geckos and four chameleons out of the country. Police report that all the animals were found drugged inside a rattan basket that was itself inside a suitcase.

The animals were apparently discovered after an aviation security officer grew suspicious over a blue suitcase.

The discovery was reported to the police, the Quarantine Office and the Natural Resources Conservation Agency.

"The suspect said that the baby orangutan was taken from Java to Bali," Ruddi claimed. "We are still investigating where he got the baby orangutan."

Ruddi added that police were also investigating whether the alleged smuggler was carrying the animals for himself or for someone else. (evi)