The Jakarta Post
Investigators at the criminal detective unit of the Riau Police arrested three people on Saturday, foiling an illegal trade of endangered orangutans in Pekanbaru.
Riau police spokesman Adj. Sr. Cmr. Guntur Aryo Tejo said on Monday that police arrested three people from Aceh who were trying to sell three baby orangutans aged between 6 and 9 months.
"We have named them suspects. One of the suspects is a civil servant from Aceh," he said as quoted by news agency Antara.
The suspects are Ali Ahmad, 53; Awaluddin, 38; and Khairi Roza, 20.
Police received information from locals who reported that there was illegal trading of orangutans in the Palas area of Pekanbaru.
Guntur said after investigating, that police identified the sellers and arrested them on Saturday while they waited for buyers in their minibus.
Two of the suspects tried to flee but were later arrested after their car got into an accident.
Police found three baby orangutans in the car, in white plastic cages.
"[The orangutans] were in weak condition after a long trip from Aceh," he said.
The suspects told police they had bought two female baby orangutans and one male baby for Rp 5 million each in Lokoh village, Tamiang sub-district.
"They planned to sell the baby orangutans for Rp 25 million each. We are currently chasing the original seller in Aceh and the person who ordered them in Pekanbaru," he said.
Police handed over the babies to the Center for Natural Resource Conservation (BKSDA). The Medan-based Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program (SOCP) reported that Sumatran orangutans are categorized as highly endangered, with only 6,600 left in the wild along the North Sumatra-Aceh border. (rin)(+)
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