Crack down illegal logging networks

EoF News / 11 September 2006

President Susilo commented on the arrest of timber baron who alleged suspect of illegal logging in North Sumatra, Adelin Lis. The suspect, who is boss of both PT Inanta Timber and PT Keang Nam Development Indonesia, was detained in China last weekend and currently under custody of police in Medan of North Sumatra.

 President told the press Monday in Helsinki, Finland, that illegal logging has international-scaled networks, therefore he demanded law enforcers to catch them.
“Many times I uttered that it is unfair if those who were netted merely upfront perpetrators or our people…

“While, the financial backers, its architect, main perpetrators --who gain hundreds of billions even trillions rupiah from this crime— are safe, totally untouchable before our laws,” the President said as quoted by Antara news agency as saying.
He also urged the police, attorney office and court to take stern measure against illegal loggers as well as to make efforts optimally to return the state’s wealth that robbed by such criminals.

Adelin Lis could be charged of three laws: Forestry Law, Corruption Crime Law, and Money Laundering Law, said Chief of North Sumatra Police Office, Inspector General Bambang Hendarso Danuri.

The Indonesian Police Chief General Sutanto has ordered his subordinates to catch indiscriminately any person involved in illegal logging, including the operators, the company owners, and those who issued logging license, said Bambang Kuncoko, the spokesperson of Polri, as reported by Media Indonesia Online on Monday.

Meanwhile, Forestry Minister Malam Sambat Kaban demanded the police to arrest more perpetrators of illegal loggings, not only persons who hold HPH (selective logging) license.

“We expect not only Adelin [to be arrested], but also persons that allegedly involved [in illegal logging crime] in Jambi, Riau and West Kalimantan, where the culprits have not been nabbed by now,” the Minister said as quoted by as saying on Monday.

The minister questioned why the police easily arrest the HPH holders, but seemingly difficult to nab the financial backers.