Rizal Harahap, Pekanbaru – The National Police's Water Police Directorate has arrested Sahril, 23, and Zulkarnaen, 25, on suspicion of illegal logging and shipping illegal timber in Meranti Islands regency, Riau. The police have seized the timber as evidence.
After receiving a report on the activity, an investigation led by the commander of the Kedidi-3015 patrol boat, Second Insp. Rizky Hidayah Harahap, began on March 25.
On Wednesday, a week after the investigation started, the police gathered information on the delivery of illegal timber in Bengkalis regency, Riau. At 5 a.m. on Thursday, Rizky initiated a covert operation using a resident's speedboat to patrol nearby waters. He approached a boat shipping timber in the straits of Padang.
The police stopped the boat, on which Rizky discovered stacked Meranti wood.
"The two boat crew members did not have any of the necessary documentation," the Riau Police's water police unit director, Sr. Comr. Badarudin, told reporters on Friday. "The boat and the timber were seized by the Meranti Islands Police's water police unit. The [suspects] were taken in by the Riau Police for questioning."
"They have been named suspects for their alleged involvement in illegal logging," said Badarudin.
The police are still looking into the origin of the wood and other loggers at the scene. (dfr)