The ministry's Director General of Law Enforcement Rasio Ridho Sani confirmed this to reporters in Surabaya on Wednesday, revealing the identity of the three suspects with the initials DG, DT and TS, all from Jayapura, Papua.
The three suspects indicated that each of them sent dozens of containers containing illegal merbau wood from Papua via ships to East Java through the Port of Tanjung Perak Surabaya.
"DG served as director at PT MGM. He sent 61 containers of illegal merbau wood from Papua to East Java through Surabaya's Tanjung Perak Port," he said. DR is the Director of PT EAJ, which sent 31 illegal merbau wood carriers from Papua to East Java through the Surabaya Tanjung Perak Port, and TS is the Director of PT RPF, which sent 38 illegal merbau containers from Papua to East Java through the Tanjung Perak Port of Surabaya.
"The total amount of illegal merbau wood from the three suspects amounted to 140 containers, which we secured as evidence," he said.
Rasio explained the three were named suspects following two arrests and the seizure of 57 containers and 199 containers of merbau wood from Jayapura in early 2019.
The three suspects were snared by Article 12, 14 and 16 of Law Number 18 Year 2013 concerning the Prevention and Safeguarding of Forests, with the threat of imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of Rp100 billion.
He stressed that the determination of the suspects against the three timber bosses is proof that the ministry is seriously combating illegal logging.
"We are still investigating other cases. As of the end of 2018, we have issued 24 warrants for the investigation of 422 containers containing illegal merbau wood from Maluku and Papua which were smuggled into East Java," he said.