Five arrested on tiger skin trade charges

Padang, W Sumatra (ANTARA News) - The West Sumatra environment and forestry authorities on Sunday morning arrested five people on charges of attempting to sell a Sumatran tiger skin.

"The arrest followed a public report that there would be a trade transaction of tiger skin and other parts. We later spied on the suspected perpetrators," chief of the West Sumatra and Riau environment and forestry security and law enforcement agency (BPPLHK) Edward Hutapea said.

The five were arrested at Jorong Simpang Nagari Koto Gadang village, Gunung Talang sub-district, Solok district, at around 08.00 a.m. local time, he said.

Based on the results of preliminary investigation, the five, identified by their initials as SY (35), N (49), IZ (23), SU (33), and DMS (28), hail from neighboring Riau and Jambi provinces, he said.

During the arrest, a team of the West Sumatra and Riau BPPLHK and Natural Resources Conservation Agency (NKSDA) officers also seized a skin of tiger believed to be two years old, eight mobile phones and two cars.

If found guilty, the perpetrators can be sentenced to up to five years in jail and fined up to Rp100 million, he said.(*)