Personal note: This is the same “rampant corruption” the EC and British DFID bureaucrats have been feeding their taxpayers money to. It’s difficult to know if the bureaucrats are idiots, corrupt, or simply incompetent. But they still they send our money to Indonesia prior to some of it ending up in Singapore or Swiss bank accounts. The EC keep quoting FLEGT, which as an organisation we know has proved to be useless and a waste of our money. We live in hope INTERPOL will investigate these matters.
May 20, 2010
Forest corruption probed
JAKARTA (Indonesia) - INDONESIA anti-graft commission is investigating rampant corruption in the forestry sector that has cost the state more than US$100 billion (S$140 billion) , an official said on Thursday.
Corruption Eradication Commission deputy chairman Mohammad Jasin said investigators had found 'indications of violations' of forestry rules by 470 companies, mainly miners, operating in Indonesian Borneo.
Deforestation and rampant illegal logging is the main reason Indonesia is the world's third-biggest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions, blamed for man-made global warming.
'They misused forest permits, chopped down trees for wood without replanting, destroyed forests for mining activities and avoided tax payments, among other breaches,' Jasin said. 'These violations cost the state more than 1,000 trillion rupiah (S$151 billion),' he added.
Corruption 'permeates every level' of the forestry sector, he said. 'Those with power take advantage of the weak forestry regulations and local government officials who are supposed to supervise the forests take bribes from plantation companies,' he said.
'It's hard to catch corruptors because supervision costs a lot of money. The forests are vast and we need helicopters and expensive equipment to check illegal practices on the ground.' -- AFP