Seized logs stranded, Minister condemns auction

EoF News / 07 April 2008

PEKANBARU (EoF News)—The only bridge connecting Asia Pacific Resources International Limited Holding's (APRIL) logging road to logpound of PT Madukoro’s concession in Kampar Peninsula block forest collapsed causing the policemen and heavy machines bringing auctioned woods still stranded, latest reports said.
Controversy of seized woods that cleared by the APRIL-affiliated company continued as Minister of Forestry Malam Sambat Kaban accused the auction proposed by the police as against the Law and blasted the woods were sold at cheaper price.

Pelalawan Police Office accused the collapsed bridge was designed by PT Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper (RAPP) as a move to obstruct the transportation of the 21,993 m3 of seized logs cleared from natural forests of Kerumutan block, Riau Terkini website reported Saturday (5/4/2008).

Ketut Gusti Gunawa, the chief of Pelalawan Police, said that around 500 employees of PT RAPP were on purpose to collapse the woodmade bridge of 10m length and 5m width, Riau Terkini reported.

“The bridge is still disconnected, later we will fix gradually. Our men cannot get out out of the area,” Ketut Gusti Gunawa, the chief of Pelalawan Police said on yesterday (6/4/2008), Tribun Pekanbaru reported.

Hundreds of policemen and and PT Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP) employees engaged in clash in the gate of the Asia Pacific Resources International Holding Limited (APRIL) compound in Pangkalan Kerinci town, on last Thursday (3 April 2008) caused several employees and policemen suffer minor injuries.

In Jakarta, Cabinet Minister Malam Sambat Kaban told the press that the auction of seized logs that won by bidder CV Gunung Mas was not valid due to it is against the results of ministerial meeting as well as the Minister of Forestry Directive No. Ins.I-/Menhut-VI/2008, Ekonomi Neraca daily reported Monday.

“The auction of seized logs is not allowed unless it is done by the Ministry of Forestry’s Taxation Team that set up by the Minister of Forestry’s Directive last February which not accomplished its work,” he said as quoted as saying by Antara news agency.

It [the price of auction] is so astounding. How come the auction of 21,993,95 cubic meter of logs, cause the State only obtain Rp 4.2 billion or Rp194,992 per cubic meter,” he asked.

The seized logs in logpond of PT Madukoro consist of Meranti wood (15,081 m3) and mixed tropical hardwoods (6,912 m3) that auctioned by the State’s Wealth and Auction Service Office (KPPLN) on 24 March 2008.

Ketut Gusti Gunawa, the chief of Pelalawan Police, denied the accusation by Minister Kaban saying the auction did not comply with the auction rules.

Gusti Gunawa said, the auction was implemented by State’s Wealth and Auction Service Office (KPPLN) of Riau following an approval by Pelalawan District Court and after being announced publicly through media, Metro Riau daily reported today (7/4/2008).

"All process has complied with the Law and conducted by KPPLN,” he said yesterday. The auction of confiscated logs is an attempt to save the State’s Wealth due to the logs threatened to be decayed and suffered decreasing price.

“However, the money of auction still goes to the State’s Treasury. If the Minister of Forestry plans to sue, please do it to KPPLN which has auctioned the logs. We have abided by the existing rules,” he said as quoted by Metro Riau daily (7/4/2008).

Budi Yanto, auction official of KPPLN in Pekanbaru, said that the police have conducted their duty proportionally by supervising and guarding the removal of auctioned woods from the concession to the auction winner’s place, Metro Riau reported today.


Madukoro on EoF Investigative Report May 2006