An Indonesian wildlife trader, who specialised in smuggling live animals including baby primates and komodo dragons, has been arrested in Bali by forest rangers from the Ministry of Forestry.
The operation was completed by Ministry of Forestry and Jakarta National Police Criminal Investigation Division, who at the arrest confiscated four endangered Javan gibbons, two palm cockatoos and four baby siamangs, which were reportedly destined for Russia.
The alleged trader is connected to illegal wildlife trafficking rings in Russia, Singapore, Thailand, and Cyprus, according to Wildlife Conservation Society’’s Wildlife Crimes Unit (WCU), which participated in the investigation.
“WCS congratulates BKSDA Bali and the Jakarta National Police Investigation Division (CID) for arresting this notorious trader,” said Joe Walston, WCS Executive Director for Asia Programs. “This arrest sends a message that Indonesia is serious about protecting its wildlife heritage from the ravages of the illegal wildlife trade.”
Last month, the trader allegedly shipped two Komodo dragons to Thailand and has sent hornbill beaks and threatened turtle species to Singapore. Javan gibbon, siamang, komodo dragon, and palm cockatoo are all strictly protected under Indonesian law; and all are listed as Endangered on the IUCN Redlist 2013 except for komodo dragon which is listed as Vulnerable.
Ir. Sonny Partono, MM, Director General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation, said: “We will thoroughly investigate this international trade gang and ensure the offenders receive the maximum penalty under Indonesian Law No. 5 year 1990 on Natural Resources Conservation and Ecosystem.”