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Jakarta Post

Twelve named suspects as helicopters fight raging flames in Riau

  • Rizal Harahap

    The Jakarta Post

Pekanbaru   /   Tue, March 26, 2019   /  08:47 am
The Jakarta Post Image
Conserving forests: An aerial picture taken by a joint police-military patrol shows piles of woods from alleged illegal logging in Giam Siak Kecil-Bukit Batu, a biosphere reserve in Bengkalis, Riau, on Feb. 24.(Antara/FB Anggoro)

The Riau Police have named 12 people suspects in land and forest fire cases in Riau province, where wildfires have destroyed 2,719 hectares of land in the past three months. The police arrested six people in Rokan Hilir, Bengkalis, Meranti Islands, Pekanbaru and Dumai from January to February, according to Riau Police chief Insp. Gen. Widodo Eko Prihastopo. “Six others were caught red-handed burning land to clear land [in March],” Widodo said on Monday. All 12 suspects were farmers and residents. Ten of the suspects are currently under investigation while another two were handed to prosecutors.  “All are individual suspects. None of them were corporations,” Widodo said. The police, he said, would not hesitate to take action if they found evidence of involvement of a corporation. The head coordinator of the Riau Disaster Mitigation Agency ...