Ivory Traders Arrested by Aceh Police in Indonesia
Traders supplied live orangutans, along with a live tiger cub and skins from tigers, clouded leopards, and golden cats
Arrest was made by Aceh Provincial Police (Polda Aceh) with technical assistance from WCS’s Wildlife Crimes Unit
NEW YORK (May 9, 2014) – The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Wildlife Crimes Unit announced today that Aceh police arrested two wildlife traders selling ivory, elephant bones, live orangutans, a live tiger cub, and other wildlife. WCS’s Wildlife Crimes Unit operates in Indonesia to provide data and technical advice to law enforcement agencies to support the investigation and prosecution of wildlife crimes.
The arrest, made on May 4th, 2014, was conducted by the Aceh Provincial Police (Polda Aceh) and supported by the Wildlife Crimes Unit. Two suspects were arrested in the town of Muelabo and included the owner of a well-known shop dealing in illegal wildlife and the trader who supplied him.
The supplier provided ivory and elephant bones, along with live orangutans, a live tiger cub, and skins from tigers, clouded leopards, and golden cats. Authorities believe the wildlife came from a group of hunters operating in the regencies of West Aceh and Nagan Raya.
Director of Criminal Division of Polda Aceh, Joko Irwanto, M. Si said: “Aceh police are committed to strengthening law enforcement to protect Aceh’s natural resources and ecosystems. From this case we confiscated 3 kilogramss of ivory, 1 raw ivory tusk, and up to 650 kilograms of elephant bones. We believe this came from at least two elephants.”
WCS Indonesia Country Director, Dr. Noviar Andayani said, “We are deeply concerned about elephant killings in Aceh. We believe that the effort of Aceh police to arrest these traders shows that law enforcement is working in Indonesia.”
WCS Executive Director for Asia Programs, Joe Walston, said: “The Wildlife Crimes Unit, in collaboration with the Indonesian authorities, has a remarkably impressive track record of arrests and prosecutions for violators of wildlife crimes. They clearly demonstrate that through a combination of commitment and intelligence Indonesia can win the war against wildlife crime, which is robbing Indonesians of their natural heritage.”
The Wildlife Crimes Unit will continue to work with the Aceh police, prosecutors, and judges to ensure they have the tools necessary to properly process this case. The Wildlife Crimes Unit is hopeful that strong sentences will create a deterrent to protect wildlife from would-be wildlife traffickers in Indonesia.
WCS’s Wildlife Crimes Unit in northern Sumatra is supported by the Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Asian Elephant Conservation Fund and Great Apes Conservation Fund, the American Zoological Associations Tiger Conservation Campaign, and San Diego Zoo Global.
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