Jakarta – The Environment and Forestry Ministry announced on Wednesday that five people, including three directors of different timber companies, had been named suspects in connection with the inspection of hundreds of shipping containers containing Intsia bijuga logs in separate locations of Jayapura, Papua.
The ministry's law enforcement director general, Rasio Ridho Sani, identified the three directors only as DG, DT and TS.
DT, who is the director of PT MGM, allegedly had 61 containers of the illegal teak, while TS of PT RPF allegedly had 38 containers and DT of PT EAJ allegedly had 31 containers of the same type of timber. The other two suspects were arrested in West Papua.
Rasio said the ministry had arrested the suspected illegal loggers after following up on the arrest of 57 shipping containers in Makassar, South Sulawesi, and 199 containers in Surabaya, East Java, in January.
"We are now conducting further investigation following their arrest," Rasio said in a statement.
He added that the three directors had violated the 2013 law on forest protection. "They could face 10 years of imprisonment and a fine of Rp 100 billion," Rasio added.
Illegal logging is one of the primary causes of deforestation in Indonesia, posing a threat to the environment. The director general said the ministry would continue to dismantle illegal timber trade networks that caused huge losses to the country. (das)