Saturday, 5 April 2008

RI to protest Malaysia for accepting smuggled logs

RI to protest Malaysia for accepting smuggled logs: Ketapang, West Kalimantan

Before anyone has their hopes raised by Minister Kaban's visit, late last year his personal intervention in a court case enabled a notorious illegal and patently guilty logger to go free. Subsequently, at least one (some say three) of the judges in this case was/were promoted.

Forestry Minister MS Kaban said the Indonesian government would soon lodge a protest against Malaysia foraccepting illegal logs smuggled from West Kalimantan on a large scale.

Minister Kaban made the statement in Muara Sungai Pawan on Thursday when inspecting 12,000 cubic meters of logs that had been seized by the police and 19 boats detained for transporting the illegal logs. During the visit, Kaban was accompanied by National Police Chief General Sutanto and the National Police`s Criminal Investigation Department Head Comm Gen Bambang Hendarto Danuri.

The forestry ministry believed the seized logs were to have been smuggledto Kuching, Malaysia as wood industries in the neighboring country had often used smuggled logs from Indonesia.
"We also urge the international world to boycott the wood products. International support is very much needed," Kaban said.

Indonesia had documents proving that Malaysia had accommodated smuggledwood from Indonesia, the minister said. "We are ready to carry out a DNA test (on the wood), so that they cannot deny that the logs they have used were smuggled Indonesian logs," the minister said. Indonesia had the results of DNA tests on wood from its forests, he said.

The Indonesian Police Headquarters had arrested 18 suspects consisting of boat skippers and log owners in an anti-illegal log raid in West Ketapang. Six officers of the Ketapang forestry service were also detained for issuing documents to legalize the illegal logs. Other suspects identified as A Song and A Un were currently still at large.

Minister Kaban urged the two suspects to surrender to the police as they would never be able to escape from the law. Police Chief General Sutanto said that even if the suspects had fled to a foreign country, the police would continue to pursue them with the assistance of the International Police. (*)