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Jakarta Post

Police investigating elephant poachers in Riau

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, February 11, 2015   /  04:59 pm

The detective directorate of the Riau Police have concluded a reconstruction of the killing of a protected elephant in Mandau, Bengkalis, Riau. Eight persons named suspects in the case were present.

'€œToday, we went to the slaughter-site with the eight suspects to conduct the case reconstruction,'€ head of the Riau Police's detective directorate, Sr. Comr. YS Widodo, said on Wednesday.

The eight suspects were arrested on Tuesday after police received a report stating poachers had killed the elephant for its ivory in a forest in Mandau.

The case reconstruction included members from World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Sumatra and the Riau Natural Resources Conservation Agency.

Coordinator of the WWF Sumatra'€™s crimes against wild animals unit, Oesmantri, said he was asked by police to check on the two ivory tusks, which were confiscated as evidence from the suspects. According to his analysis, the elephant was killed in the past two or three days.

'€œBased on our analysis, the ivory [tusks] confiscated from the suspects, which are large, or two meters in length, belonged to a male elephant aged around 80,'€ he said.

According to the police investigation, the suspects, identified as FA, HA, R, MU, S, R, I and AS were led by FA, who was allegedly the lead strategist and financier.

Widodo said that the suspects also admitted responsibility for the shooting deaths of three elephants in the Tesso Nilo Protected Forest last week and, beforehand, two other elephants in Jambi province.

He said the suspects only poached male elephants for their ivory tusks, which sell for about Rp 8 million (US$635) apiece. (rms)(+++)

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