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Jakarta Post

Authorities seal off illegal reclamation project in Belitung

  • Kharishar Kahfi
    Kharishar Kahfi

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, July 11, 2019   /   06:20 pm
Authorities seal off illegal reclamation project in Belitung Officers from a joint investigation team installs signage upon sealing an unauthorized seabed reclamation project at Air Saga village in Belitung regency, Bangka-Belitung Islands on July 10. (Courtesy of/The Environment and Forestry Ministry)

A joint team comprising investigators from several ministries and law enforcement agencies sealed an unauthorized seabed reclamation project at Air Saga village in Belitung regency, Bangka Belitung Islands.

The reclamation project was being carried out off five different properties owned by three individuals -- identified as NH, AL and HS -- and two corporations, identified as PT PAN and PT BMMI.

The Environment and Forestry Ministry received reports from the citizens about the alleged illegal project after workers were seen cutting down mangrove trees on the beaches. Moreover, the reclamation project had cut off the residents’ access to the sea. 

Read also: Reclamation, industries worsen coastal erosion

The ministry's director for criminal law enforcement, Yazid Nurhuda, said the investigation into the alleged illegal reclamation project involved various authorities, including the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry and the Agrarian and Spatial Planning Ministry, because there was an allegation that the illegal reclamation had violated numerous regulations.

“Apart from the 2009 Environmental Protection Law, such illicit practices also violated the 2014 Law on the Management of Coastal Areas and Small Islands and the 2007 Spatial Planning Law,” Yazid said. 

Each law carries a maximum punishment of 10 years of imprisonment and Rp 10 billion (US$710,855) in fines.

He added the authorities would soon question the people suspected to be responsible for the project.