This story excerpt was translated from bahasa Indonesia. To read the original story in full, visit Mongabay. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.
- Illegal logging continues to occur in the conservation area Kerinci Seblat National Park (TNKS). There is law enforcement, but it mostly targets field players such as loggers or timber transport drivers. The snares for financiers are minimal.
- In a case of illegal logging in Kerinci Seblat in 2021, a financier was prosecuted, but he was acquitted in court.
- Amir Durin, a Tapan community leader, said timber theft in TNKS, Sako, Tapan, West Sumatra, occurred in the 1990s. At that time, logging was not so massive and secretive. Massive logging in Sako TNKS began in 2010. At that time, timber was seized and land was sold. Various types of wood were taken from the area, including katoko, banio, meranti, and pulin.
- Arie Rompas, Chair of the Greenpeace Indonesia Forest Campaign, said the perpetrators of illegal logging in Kerinci Seblat National Park—including financiers, not just the drivers or accomplices—must be dealt with. Financiers are the main cause of this illicit activity in Sumatra's largest conservation area.
That morning, a Colt Diesel car entered the timber port. Several workers moved quickly to transport wood from the riverbank to the truck. The team from the West Sumatra Police and the Kerinci Seblat National Park Center (BBTNKS), who had been lurking, moved closer. They divided into two teams, some waiting behind, others going forward.
After the car passed Jalan Raya Bukit Putus, Pesisir Selatan, West Sumatra, officers intercepted and stopped it. Inside the car were 31 logs without legal documents. The truck driver was taken to the West Sumatra Police Headquarters in Padang, and the timber was confiscated.
"As a result of the investigation, we have made the owner of the sarkel (timber sales business) a suspect and detained at West Sumatra Police," Firdaus, Head of Tipidter Sub-Directorate of West Sumatra Police, said of the November incident two years ago.
As a nonprofit journalism organization, we depend on your support to fund journalism covering underreported issues around the world. Donate any amount today to become a Pulitzer Center Champion and receive exclusive benefits!
The arrest of the timber baron was a first in Tapan, South Pesisir. Prosecutors mostly targeted drivers and timber workers. The timber financier was later acquitted in court.