Banda Aceh (ANTARA) - Aceh Regional Police’s Special Criminal Investigation Directorate foiled an attempt to illegally trade the skin of a Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris) and its body parts in East Aceh district.

Chief of the Aceh Regional Police, Inspector General Achmad Kartiko, informed that two suspects were arrested in connection with the case in Banda Aceh on Monday.

“There are two suspected perpetrators whose roles were sales intermediaries. (The person) who caught and killed the Sumatran tiger is still under investigation,” he said.

The suspected culprits were identified as K, a 48-year-old civil servant worker posted at the Serbajadi Sub-district Office in East Aceh district, and M, a 24-year-old rice farmer from Seulemak village, East Aceh.

Kartiko said that they were arrested based on information provided by local communities about a planned tiger skin trade in Tualang, Peurelak sub-district, East Aceh, on January 19, 2024.

After receiving the information, police launched an investigation and found the suspects while they were waiting for a buyer inside a minibus. Police searched the minibus and found the Sumatran tiger's skin, bones, and lower body parts.

"Based on a temporary investigation, K admitted to being an intermediary and M was the driver. The two were waiting for their tiger skin buyer,” the police chief said.

Currently, investigators are probing the two suspects’ involvement and trying to determine their network, including the person who hunted and caught the Sumatran tiger.

Investigators suspect that K and M violated Law Number 5 of 1990 on the Conservation of the Living Natural Resources and Its Ecosystem.

“The revelation of tiger skin trade is Aceh Regional Police’s commitment to take firm action in response to criminal acts against natural resources and ecosystem conservation,” Kartiko stated.

Meanwhile, an expert from the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA), Taing Lubis, said that the deceased tiger was a male and approximately 12 years old.

“Looking at its body parts, the process of catching the tiger was done by more than one experienced person because there are no conspicuous wounds. After the tiger was caught, the culprit immediately injected the tiger (with drugs) and skinned it,” Lubis added.

She informed that the deceased Sumatran tiger measured 2.6 meters. The protected animal is estimated to have died two weeks ago. Its death and skinning appear to have happened in quick succession.

“Tiger skinning cannot happen more than six hours (after death). After six hours, the skin will be damaged. It seems that the culprit is skilled and has done it more than once,” Lubis said.

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Translator: M. Haris Agus, Yuni Arisandy
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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