Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Law Enforcement Agency of the Environment and Forestry Ministry revealed a case of illegal trade of dozens of black-capped lories (kasturi) in the South Papua region.

"We will continue to investigate the case to uncover trafficking networks of protected wildlife," Head of the ministry's law enforcement agency for the Maluku and Papua regions Leonardo Gultom remarked here on Tuesday.

The agency's operation team and the Merauke District Police arrested the 23-year-old suspect, identified by the initials as AR in Yasamulya Village, Merauke, South Papua, on Friday (March 31).

According to the first investigation, the suspect, AR, admitted to getting the birds from her husband, 42, identified with the initial H.

H got the lories from the indigenous people of Asson region, Mappi, South Papua, as a form of payment for essential commodities.

AR stated that at first, she sold the protected wildlife at the kiosk in front of her house. However, due to the lack of sales, she finally advertised the birds on Facebook at a price of Rp500 thousand to Rp550 thousand per head.

AR had reportedly been conducting the illegal trade of protected wildlife for two years.

Gultom said that the case being brought to light demonstrated the government's commitment to protecting Indonesia's living natural resources, especially protected plants and wildlife.

"We will continue to cooperate with law enforcement officials and other agencies as well as strengthen the use of technology, such as cyber patrols and the intelligence center, to monitor the trade of protected animals," he remarked.

The two suspects allegedly violated Law No. 5 of 1990 concerning the conservation of living natural resources and their ecosystem, with a possible prison term of up to five years and a maximum fine of Rp100 million.

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Translator: Sugiharto P, Kenzu
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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