More APP subsidiary's executives named suspects

EoF News / 15 July 2007

Pekanbaru (EoF News)-- More executives of Asia Pulp & Paper's partner companies are probed by Riau Police as PT Suntara Gaja Pati (SGP) directors named suspects, a daily reported.

Three executives of PT Suntara Gaja Pati named suspects by Dumai city police over allegation of depleting forest and environment in Sei Sembilan sub-municipality.  Some witnesses had been questioned of this case and three suspects named, said Chief of Dumai City Police, Zulkifli AR, Pekanbaru MX daily reported last week.

The suspects are Rus (SGP director), Sun (the president director), and Sei (camp manager). "The three suspects are found committing damage to the forest and ecology which occurred in Basilam Baru village with size of 1,800 hectares," Zulkifli said. The police has also seized 65,000 cubic meter of felled timber and 48 heavy machines.  

Two weeks ago three executives of PT Arara Abadi, main timber supplier for Asia Pulp & Paper, were named suspects over alleged illegal logging which accused of destroying forest and ecology.

The Riau Police Office avowed to take legal action against those involved in illegal logging and forest/environmental crimes. Several governmental officials and executives of forestry companies had been questioned and named suspects.

Chief of the Riau Police, Brig.-Gen. Sutjiptadi, said the police are probing 157 illegal logging cases where 127 dossiers of them had completed.

The Riau Police Chief held a case expose at the Indonesian Police Headquarters, Jakarta, before the top brass of the institution which also attended by General Sutanto, the Chief of Indonesia Police. Riau Terkini website reported last weekend that the officers declined to comment on the meeting.

In another development, PT Arara Abadi, the APP's subsidiary, has reportedly blocked road access usually used by villagers in Pelalawan district following land dispute between the company's acacia plantation concession and oil palm plantation of PT  PT Mekarsari Alam Lestari.

Riau Terkini website reported Tuesday that both disputing companies have filed report separately to the police of their 800-ha land they claim respectively. 

In Pekanbaru, a group of students staged rallies to support the Riau Police's legal action against the companies violating environmental crimes including PT Arara Abadi. The group urged the police to probe thoroughly land dispute cases involved the APP's subsidiary and communities in five districts of the province.

In Pelalawan district, residents of Lalang Kabut have blocked the access to the port of PT Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper (RAPP), subsidiary of Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited (APRIL), demanding the company to provide electricity power to the villagers and other community developments as it has promised.

The blockade has caused the transportation activity on Tuesday to the port paralyzed.  Latest reports said that villagers have reopened the blockade Wednesday following some agreements have been reached by both sides.