Kharishar Kahfi, Jakarta – A joint team comprising investigators from several ministries and law enforcement agencies sealed an unauthorized seabed reclamation project at Air Saga village in Belitung regency, Bangka Belitung Islands.
The reclamation project was being carried out off five different properties owned by three individuals – identified as NH, AL and HS – and two corporations, identified as PT PAN and PT BMMI.
The Environment and Forestry Ministry received reports from the citizens about the alleged illegal project after workers were seen cutting down mangrove trees on the beaches. Moreover, the reclamation project had cut off the residents' access to the sea.
The ministry's director for criminal law enforcement, Yazid Nurhuda, said the investigation into the alleged illegal reclamation project involved various authorities, including the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry and the Agrarian and Spatial Planning Ministry, because there was an allegation that the illegal reclamation had violated numerous regulations.
"Apart from the 2009 Environmental Protection Law, such illicit practices also violated the 2014 Law on the Management of Coastal Areas and Small Islands and the 2007 Spatial Planning Law," Yazid said.
Each law carries a maximum punishment of 10 years of imprisonment and Rp 10 billion (US$710,855) in fines. He added the authorities would soon question the people suspected to be responsible for the project.