Rizal Harahap, Pekanbaru – The Indonesian Military (TNI) have arrested two Pekanbaru residents for allegedly trading illegal wildlife in Dumai, Riau.
Dumai Customs and Excise Office head Fuad Fauzi said he had received a report from residents regarding the illegal selling of protected animals in the area.
"We suspect that the animals were heading to Malaysia and were to be delivered by speedboat from a harbor belonging to one of the locals," he told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.
The suspects, identified as SP, 40, and JD, 27, were arrested at a port in Dumai. They had been caught with seven rare primates without a license, namely three orangutans, two crab-eating macaques, one siamang and one binturong. The animals were being kept in cardboard boxes.
"The price for all of the primates can be up to Rp 1.42 billion (US$100,321)," Fuad said.
Riau Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA Riau) head Suharyono said the agency would take care of the protected animals for the time being.
According to Suharyono, a team of vets reported that the primates required extra medical attention. "Thankfully, they still want to drink milk, even though they are afraid of humans," he said.
Suharyono said the case would be handled by the law enforcement unit of the Sumatra Environment and Forestry Agency.
"The perpetrators will be charged under Law No. 5/1990 on natural resources and ecosystem as well as Law No. 17/2006 on customs," Suharyono said, adding that they can face up to five years in prison and a Rp 100 million fine. (dpk)