Forest squatters in Leuser arrested
Medan: Police have arrested 15 squatters in Mount Leuser National Park (TNGL) in Langkat regency, North Sumatra, while hundreds of refugees from conflict-torn Aceh, who are also believed to have cleared the forest, were allowed to remain.
The squatters were caught destroying five hectares of protected forest in Tanjung Kusta and Sei Minyak in Langkat, TNGL head Harijoko said. There were still squatters roaming freely in the area, he added.
“Most of them come from outside Langkat. They are well-organized and hard to detect,” he said Monday, adding that the 15 squatters arrested had been felling trees in protected areas for two years. — JP