Jakarta – East Java Police have dismantled a syndicate they accuse of selling endangered animals that allegedly operated in several areas in East Java.
The suspects admitted running the business over the past two years, according to the police.
"We've detained five suspects," East Java Police chief Insp. Gen. Luki Hermawan said on Tuesday, as quoted by kompas.com. "They sold the animals through social media with price ranging from Rp 300,000 [US$21.80] to Rp 5 million."
The syndicate is accused of having sold several species, from birds to mammals. A rhinoceros hornbill was allegedly sold for Rp 2.5 million, a slow loris for Rp 1 million, while a salmon-crested cockatoo, a species endemic to the Seram Archipelago in eastern Indonesia, for Rp 5 million.
The police, with help from the Natural Resources Conservation Agency, reportedly confiscated 53 endangered animals – 41 alive, 12 dead – from the syndicate. The dead animals included eight cockatoos, two Javan lutung, an oriental pied hornbill and a wreathed hornbill.
The suspects are to be charged under articles 21 and 33 of Law No. 5/1990 on natural resources and ecosystem conservation. The charges carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison upon conviction. (hol)