Jakarta (ANTARA) - Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) praised the ruling of East Java's Surabaya District Court that awarded imprisonment and imposed fines of billions of rupiah on five companies' directors for illegal logging distribution from Papua.

In a statement from the Directorate General of Law Enforcement (Gakkum) of KLHK, Director General Rasio Ridho Sani expressed hope that the prison sentences of six to nine years and fines of Rp6 billion to Rp9 billion (around US$379 thousand-US$579 thousand) imposed on five companies would provide a deterrent effect.

"The Surabaya District Court's decision must be a lesson for perpetrators of the crime of illegal logging from Nabire, Papua, which destroys the environment and forest areas, threatens people's lives, and harms the state," Sani emphasized.

"We will use all available instruments, so that the deterrent effect is huge," he added.

The case started with an illegal timber distribution operation at Tanjung Perak Port, Surabaya, held by Gakkum KLHK on November 19, 2022, and December 3, 2022.

At that time, 59 containers loaded with processed Merbau wood were seized that were transported aboard the MV Verizon ship and KM Hijau Jelita ship at Tanjung Perak Port, Surabaya, East Java.

After checking the 59 containers, it was found that they were filled with chainsaw-sawn processed wood of various sizes.

Related news: KLHK to take strict action against illegal loggers

The document accompanying the transportation of the wood was only a Continuation Note that should be used to transport advanced wood or moulding.

"We continue to consistently take action against perpetrators of environmental and forestry crimes. We have carried out thousands of operations to save the environment and forestry,” Sani remarked.

“To date, Gakkum KLHK has carried out 2,103 environmental and forestry security operations, and 1,512 cases of environmental and forestry crimes have been brought to court," Sani remarked.

Earlier, the Surabaya District Court Panel of Judges had tried and handed down sentences under the criminal law against five timber companies.

The five companies are CV Aditamah Mandiri, CV Gefariel, PT Guraja Mandiri Perkasa, CV Wami Start, and PT Eka Dwika Perkasa regarding the case of the distribution of illegal Merbau wood from Nabire, Papua, to Surabaya.

Apart from having to close down the company and shell out a fine, each convicted company leader was also given a prison sentence varying from six to nine years.

The Surabaya District Court decided on the CV Aditamah Mandiri case on January 30, 2024, while the court sentenced the rest of the companies and the leaders on February 26, 2024.

The five defendants were legally determined and found guilty of committing the crime of "transporting and possessing timber forest products which were not accompanied by a certificate of legality of the forest products carried out jointly.”

Related news: Ministry lauds sentence imposed against tree loggers in national park

Translator: Prisca Triferna Violleta, Cindy Frishanti Octavia
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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