Jakarta

Orangutan seller busted
at hotel


JAKARTA (JP): City police detectives arrested on Monday evening bird sellerWiyadi in a parking lot at Hotel Sheraton Bandara in Tangerang for selling a protected animal -- orangutan (Pongo Pygmaeus), an officer said on Monday.

""The suspect violated Article 21 of the 1990 Law on Natural Resources andEcosystem Conservation, which prohibits buying or selling protected animals,"" chief of City Police's criminal investigation for special crimes Supt. Winarno told reporters.

Winarno said the suspect was arrested after police detectives received a tip-off that the 28-year-old suspect was trying to sell an orangutan.

The Article carries a maximum sentence of five years in jail and a fine of Rp 100 million.

Wiyadi, a bird seller, conceded that he bought the six-month-old orangutan at the Barito animal market on Jl. Barito in Kebayoran Lama, South Jakarta, a month ago.

""I didn't know it's a protected animal. A man offered me the animal a month ago, and I finally bought it for Rp 1.75 million,"" he said.

He said he took care of the animal at his house in Klender area, East Jakarta for a month.

""On Monday, a foreigner dropped by my stall in the market, and bargained for the animal,"" he said.

Wiyadi finally agreed to sell the animal for Rp 9 million.

He said the foreigner, who was not identified, asked him to go to Hotel Sheraton Bandara to get the cash.

""We went there by taxi. I was arrested as I was waiting for him in the parking area,"" he said, adding that the foreigner might have trapped him.

However, Winarno said the police would investigate the unidentified foreigner, whom he said was ""at large.""(asa)

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