Sunday, 27 November 2011

Alleged masterminds of orangutan killings arrested

EAST Kalimantan Police have arrested and named two people suspects, PCH, a Malaysian, and his Indonesian cohort, W, in connection with the recent death of several orangutans in plantation areas in Kalimantan, The Jakarta Post reported yesterday.

According to earlier reports, PCH acted as the mastermind for the killing. He hired two locals to carry out the killings, East Kalimantan Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Wisnu Sutirta said Thursday as quoted by

Wisnu said that PCH, a manager of PT Khaleda Agroprima Malindo, believed the orangutans were a pest that could ruin his company's assets in the local forests, and had thus made efforts to exterminate them.

Wisnu said police were seeking information on where the money came from to pay for the orangutan killings.

Meanwhile, Antara news agency reported yesterday that the two were suspected of involvement in the orangutan (pongo pygmaeus morio) killings at Puan Cepak village, Muara Kaman sub-district, Kutai Kartanegara (Kukar) District, East Kalimantan province.

"Based on the investigations by the Kukar and East Kalimantan Police offices, we name and detain W bin W, 29, and PCH, 46, a senior manager," Inspector General Saud Usman Nasution, spokesman for the Indonesian National Police, said as quoted by Antara as saying.

Antara said that W was suspected to be the person who had recruited the main suspect, caught and shot orangutans.

He had also allegedly provided the facilities.

PCH was the person who had suggested and instructed the establishment of a team to hunt pests (including orangutans and monkeys) in the plantation area of PT Khaleda Agroprima Malindo, a Malaysian oil palm plantation company operating in Kalimantan.

"We are still waiting for further investigations to look for other possible suspects. For sure, whoever was involved in this case will be thoroughly investigated, without any discrimination, including the company's employees or others," Saud said.

The police have so far grilled 25 witnesses in the orangutan and monkey killing case.

Police had earlier named two suspects - M alias G and M - in the case.

The two suspects are pest eradication workers of PT KAM.

They said they killed the animals based on instructions from PCH and A, another PT KAM manager, two years ago. They were paid 200,000 rupiah (S$30) per one monkey and 1 million rupiah per orangutan.

If found guilty, they are liable to a five-year jail sentence each and a fine of 100 million rupiah in accordance with Law No 5/1990 on Natural Resource Biodiversity and Ecosystem Conservation.

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