The endangered animals comprised 15 Moluccan cockatoos, one Changeable Hawk eagle, and eight East Javan langurs, chief of the public relations service of the East Java Provincial Police, Senior Commissioner Gatot Repli Handoko, said in Surabaya on Wednesday.
Police also arrested three suspects in two different places. They were identified by their initials as NR, who was arrested in Suko village, Sidoarjo district, and VPE and NK, who were arrested at the Permata Biru housing complex in Pakunden village, Kediri city.
VPE and NK are a married couple, Handoko informed, adding NK was not detained as she is pregnant.
Related news: Police to investigate alleged sale of endangered animals to countries
Police uncovered the online sales racket after receiving a report from one person, identified as Enno Arekbonek Songolaspitulikur, on Facebook, he said.
After receiving the report, the police and BKSDA launched a probe to check its veracity, he added.
“At 1 p.m. WIB (Western Indonesia Time) on Monday, we came to the Permata Biru housing complex in Kediri city to conduct an investigation. Based on the results of the investigation, VPE and NK were found selling endangered animals, including one Changeable Hawk eagle and eight East Javan langurs,” Handoko said.
Police seized the endangered animals and later handed them over to the BKSDA for further legal process.
Police also received information on social media earlier about an online sales racket of endangered animals being operated out of Sidoarjo.
On Monday (February 1, 2021), police and BKSDA officials went to NR's house in Sidoarjo and found 15 Moluccan cockatoos there.
If found guilty, the suspects could be sentenced to five years in jail and fined up to Rp100 million under the Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation Law Number 5 of 1990.
Related news: Security officers rescue endangered animal in West Sumatra