SURABAYA: East Java's Police arrested a man in the Madura Strait on Friday for alleged involvement in the trade of red kangaroos (Macropus rufus).
An official from the East Java Police, Comr. Widarmanto, said the suspect, Mulyadi, was a crew member of the KM Mitra Nusantara.
During his arrest, 10 red kangaroos from Papua were seized. Red kangaroos are a protected species in Indonesia.
"At the time of the arrest, five of the kangaroos were already dead, while the rest were secured by the police," Widarmanto said.
"The suspect admitted buying the animals from a Papuan resident for Rp 2 million each," he added.
ProFauna Indonesia head Rosek Nursahid said this was not the first case of illegal trade in red kangaroos in the Madura Strait, but that it was the first uncovered by local authorities.
"ProFauna activists in Papua tell us the trade of red kangaroos is widespread, with animals going to Tanjung Perak Port in Surabaya, and Banyuwangi in East Java," he said. - JP