Gov't Expose First Ever Online Illegal Ivory Trade Worth Billions

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Mahinda Arkiyasa

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  • TEMPO.CO, JakartaEnvironment and Forestry Ministry exposed for the first time online trading practice of ivory. Poaching and trading of ivory are prohibited by law as it resulted in the low population of elephant in Indonesia.

    "This is the first time we take action against online trading," said the Ministry's Forest Conservation and Ssecurity Director Sustyo Iriyono during a press conference in his office at the Manggala Wanabakti Building, Central Jakarta on Thursday, May 2, 2019.

    The arrest first began when the Ministry's cyber team of the law enforcement directorate found three suspicious accounts actively selling products made of ivory via Facebook online for all Indonesian regions.

    The investigation revealed that the three accounts namely chanif mangkubumi, onny pati, and wong brahma were based in Pati, Central Java. The ministry's team asked for the help of Pati Resort Police to arrest OF (38), CK (44), and MHF (31). "They are the owner, craftsmen, and also seller," said Sustyo.

    The police confiscated one 30-centimeter ivory, 18 pieces of ivory with a length of 20-30 centimeters, and products made of ivory including 175 smoke pipes, 31 bracelets, 53 rings, 4 necklaces, as well as 22 bracelets made of bahar root. In addition, there was 7 deer antlers, 17 sun bear claws, and several equipment sets.

    Sustyo said all the products were estimated to value up to IDR 420 billion. Based on the law, he mentioned, the seized goods could be delivered to a museum or burnt.

    Meanwhile, perpetrators will be charged with Article 40(2) in conjunction with Article 21(2d) of Law No. 5 of 1990 concerning the conservation of natural resources and ecosystem. They will face 5 years of imprisonment and a maximum fine of IDR 100 million.

    FAJAR PEBRIANTO