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Tiger Poacher and Trader Arrested in Indonesia

17 September 2015 | Wildlife Conservation Society News Release

The Aceh Tenggara District Police (Polres Aceh Tenggara), the Gunung Leuser National Park (GLNP) rangers, and the Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS’s) Wildlife Crimes Unit (WCU) announced today the arrest of a wildlife poacher and a trader for trading body parts of a Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae).

The arrest occurred in Kutacane, Aceh on September 9, 2015, and was led by Second Police Inspector (Ipda) Bustani, four policemen and two GLNP forest rangers. The operation involved a transaction for one fresh tiger skin, two kilograms of tiger bones, including one tiger skull, and four tiger fangs. The two perpetrators allegedly poached and traded tiger parts in Aceh in 2015.

According to their confessions, the suspects recently sold a fresh tiger skin and bones from a tiger snared in mid-August in Gayo Lues forest.  Additionally, skins and bones from eight tigers have been sold by the two since 2011.

The poachers confessed to also having bought tiger skins and other body parts from local villagers. Based on the initial interrogation conducted by the police, the two perpetrators are connected to four poachers and traders that were arrested by Aceh Police on August 6, 2015.

The Sumatran tiger is a Critically Endangered tiger sub-species and can only be found on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Prohibition of the poaching and trading of tigers is regulated under article 40 paragraph 2 injunction to article 21 paragraph 2 on Law no. 5/ 1990 on Natural Resources and Other Ecosystem Conservation. The violators are subjected to a maximum of 5 years in prison and a fine of USD 10,000.

The Deputy of District Police office, Police Commissioner (Kompol) Andi Kirana, S.IK, M.H., said, “We will go after other hunters who are still operating in Gayo Lues. We will work with GLNP and civil society to combat tiger poaching in the Leuser Landscape.”

Andi Basrul, the Head of Gunung Leuser National Park said, “This arrest shows our commitment in protecting Gunung Leuser National Park’s ecosystem which had been mandated to us to be managed. We will take firm action against criminal acts of the forest and wildlife in order to save conservation forest, in which the last stronghold for preserving biodiversity and its ecosystem.”

Noviar Andayani, Country Director of Wildlife Conservation Society – Indonesia Program said, “We appreciate the strong law enforcement from the Indonesian government to arrest the tiger trader. Poaching and trade is one of the biggest threats for protected species nowadays, especially for tigers. WCS is committed to support the government’s action to protect key species through various efforts such as protection on the ground and technical assistance in the law enforcement process.”

WCS’s Wildlife Crimes Unit is supported by the Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation, Fondation Segré, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Multinational Species Conservation Funds, AZA Tiger Species Survival Plan’s Tiger Conservation Campaign, and the UK Government’s IWT Challenge Fund.

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