3 APP subsidiary's directors named suspects over illegal logging

EoF News / 03 July 2007

Pekanbaru (EoF News)--- Three directors of PT Arara Abadi, subsidiary of Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), were named suspects by the Riau Police Office over illegal logging practices causing the loss of natural forests in Riau. In another case, two former Riau Forestry Service's heads also named suspects for allegedly issuing unlawful logging licenses and other fake documents.

Pekanbaru newspapers reported today that Brig.-Gen. Sutjiptadi said Monday here the announcement of illegal logging suspect's names is "the first stage" of the prosecution. He said in the near future "there will be more 22 companies' executives named suspects."

Sutjiptadi said the 22 companies are similar to PT Arara Abadi who hold unlawful logging license, Tribun Pekanbaru daily reported. Riau Terkini website reported yesterday that the 22 companies are subsidiaries and partners of two pulp giants in the province, APP and Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited (APRIL).

"Well, there are definitely other companies including large companies. We still await the result of investigation," he said.

The Police Chief did not elaborate the concession where PT Arara Abadi was accused of committing illegal logging. The three directors are Subarjo, Jhon F. Pandelaki, and Didi Harsa. While, the two ex-heads of Riau Forestry Service are Asral Rachman and Sudirno.

"Both officials know, but the [unlawful] licenses are still issued. For that violation they are considered unlawful," the Police Chief said.

Riau Pos daily said that the announcement is a "gift" presented by the police during its 61st anniversary on July 1 "as well as an answer that the police are totally fighting against illegal logging by taking legal action against those who are involved in it."

"I am not discriminating in these illegal logging cases. Hopefully, everything we will disclose," Sutjiptadi said.

The legal action that taken by the police since early this year incited pros and cons. Some rallies held in Pekanbaru this week to protest the police over the illegal logging eradication which accused of misleading. Deputy Riau Governor, Wan Abubakar told the press today, "I personally give my moral support to the Chief of Riau Police to keep at his stance."