Head of the Balai Gakkum Sumatra Region Section I Medan, Haluanto Ginting, said that two suspects, namely MAS (47) and SH (30), sellers of Sumatran tiger skins were arrested on Jalan Raya Bireun-Takengon, Gegerung Village, Wih Pesam District, Regency of North Sumatra. Bener Meriah, Aceh Province, Monday (25/10).
“There we were ambushed. After we checked it proved convincing,” he told FLY, Wednesday (27/10).
Haluanto explained that the arrests were the result of operations for the circulation of wild plants and animals carried out by a joint team from Balai Gakkum, the Aceh Natural Resources Conservation Center (BKSDA), and the Aceh Police, since Sunday (24/10).
The next day, the joint team received information from the public that there were two people who offered one Sumatran tiger skin for Rp. 70 million. During the arrest, the joint team also confiscated evidence in the form of an intact Sumatran tiger skin with the skull still attached.
“The Sumatran tiger’s skin is still wet, so it is still given hard water,” said Haluanto.
Currently, investigators from Balai Gakkum, KLHK, Sumatra Region are exploring the possibility of involvement of other parties related to the distribution network of protected wild plants and animals in Aceh.
“Usually they sell it underground. It is possible that there are other people behind it,” said Haluanto.
For this action, the suspects were charged with Article 21 Paragraph 2 Letter d in conjunction with Article 40 Paragraph 2 of Law No. 5 of 1990 concerning Conservation of Biological Natural Resources and Their Ecosystems with a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of Rp. 100 million.
Meanwhile, the Director of Forest Prevention and Security, Sustyo Iriyono, emphasized that trade in protected wild plants and animals is an extraordinary crime involving a network of multi-layered actors and has high economic value.
“We will continue to take action and enforce the law by seeking maximum punishment for the perpetrators, especially the financiers. We will also continue to synergize with other law enforcement officers to eradicate this crime,” he said in his official statement.
The Sumatran tiger is one of the protected species in Indonesia based on the Regulation of the Minister of Environment and Forestry Number: P.106/MENLHK/SETJEN/KUM.1/6/2018 concerning the Second Amendment to the Regulation of the Minister of Environment and Forestry Number: P.20 /MENLHK/SETJEN/KUM.1/6/2018 concerning Protected Types of Wild Plants and Animals.
Based on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, an animal that is only found on the island of Sumatra, is a critically endangered species and is at high risk of extinction in the wild. [aa/em]