Police pay attention to Riau illegal logging raids

EoF News / 19 February 2007

Pekanbaru (EoF News) -- The Indonesian Police Headquarters have sent its high-ranked officers to Riau province in supervising anti-illegal logging operations within recent month where 71 cases disclosed, 101 perpetrators detained, and 33,702 large logs seized as well as thousand middle and small sized logs are confiscated. The Indonesian Police have deployed five top officers to Riau last week, including Chief of Crime Intelligence Unit Bambang Hendarso Danuri and General Supervision Inspector Jusuf Manggabarani, to monitor the anti-illegal logging   raids in the province.
The Forestry Ministry’s Director of Intellegence and Forest Protection Awria Ibrahim is also in the flank. One case that highlighted by media in Riau is seizure of 1,300 logs at PT Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper (RAPP) chip mill in Pelalawan, Riau, last week, as the Ministry of Forestry official said the timber clearcut in Kampar Peninsula forest block allegedly have no legal documents. Despite, the timbers were not supported by legal documents, Awria Ibrahim said, “Yet we cannot prove whose the woods is,” as reported by Tempo Interaktif online Monday.
He said the ministry will investigate the involvement PT RAPP, subsidiary of Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL), in sourcing the illegal timbers. Jusuf Manggabarani said the large amount of illegal logs confiscated by the police in Riau encouraged the police headquarters to “supervise extremely tight the law enforcement of illegal logging eradication.” He said as quoted by Kompas, “Nowadays, the illegal logging is at corporate level.” Media reports said the confiscation followed the detention of 25 truck drivers in Pelalawan district in January due to they carried logs from PT Madukoro, PT RAPP’s partner, which failed to show forest documents to the authority. 
Chief of Riau Police Sutjiptadi told the media at a press conference that thousands of logs carried from Kampar Peninsula were allegedly illegal as they were piled along with chip wood at PT RAPP chip mill. The police still count the total amount of chip woods confiscated at the chip mill. The police suspected the logs were clearcut at Kampar peat swamp forest that have been occurring for a long time. Jusuf said the police raids to illegal logging operations in the province have also seized 15 units of ships, 1 pontoon, 90 trucks and 10 excavators. EoF Investigative Report May 2006