Jakarta (ANTARA) - A joint team of the police and the Environment and Forestry Ministry has arrested five people over alleged illegal hunting of Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris) in Riau Province.

The arrest was made on Saturday (Dec 7) at 6.00 a.m., the ministry's Director for Forest Prevention and Security Sustyo Iriyono said in a statement here on Sunday.

Iriyono said the successful operation was a result of close cooperation between the ministry and the police along with related institutions to fight against environmental crimes that could endanger protected species in Indonesia.

The team has conducted investigation based on tip-offs from the locals on alleged illegal hunting of the protected animal in Teluk Binjai Village, Teluk Meranti Subdstrict of Pelalawan District.

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The team apprehended three suspects, identified as MY, SS and E, and seized four tiger foetus kept in a plastic jar.

The police further chased and arrested two other suspects, SS and TS, in different locations, and confiscated a piece of adult tiger skin in Pangkalan Lesung Village.

Head of the ministry's law enforcement agency for Sumatra region Eduward Hutapea said the ministry has paid serious attention to the case and will intensify its patrol to monitor the illegal trade of the protected species.

The suspects would be charged with article 40 of law no. 5/1990 on conservation of natural resource and its ecosystem, with maximum imprisonment for five years in jail and a fine of Rp100 million.

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Translator: Virna P Setyorini, Sri Haryati
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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