· Arrest made by Sukabumi District Police, with technical assistance from WCS’s Wildlife Crimes Unit
The Sukabumi District Police, with support from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)’s Wildlife Crimes Unit (WCU), announced the arrest of a wildlife trafficker illegally trading in pangolins and pangolin parts in Indonesia.
The suspect was arrested in Cikembang, Sukabumi, West Java on March 9, 2018. Seized in the arrest were 1.6 kilograms of pangolin scales and 3 live pangolins (weight 24 kilograms).
The trafficker allegedly set up direct transactions, meeting and trading in the illegal goods with buyers in Sukabumi, Bogor, and Jakarta.
The trader’s arrest, which occurred during a transaction with a buyer in Sukabumi, concluded an investigation that began on December 27th, 2017. Under Indonesian law, trafficking pangolins, their body parts and by-products is punishable by a penalty of 5 years maximum imprisonment and a maximum fine of USD 10,000.
In recent years, the price of pangolin has increased sharply in the international illegal market, driven by demand mainly from China. Some cultures consider pangolins a delicacy and wrongly believe that their scales—which comprise 20 percent of their body weight— provide health benefits.
“The police will continue to support pangolin protection through providing strong enforcement actions to dismantle pangolin criminal networks operated in West Java,” said Chief of Sukabumi police office, Superintendent (AKBP) Nasriadi.
“WCS is committed to supporting the Indonesian government’s efforts to protect key wildlife, including the pangolin, through a multi-faceted approach—from habitat protection to support in law enforcement activities,” said Noviar Andayani, WCS’s Indonesia Program Country Director. “This latest arrest is continued evidence of that, and of the government’s strong commitment to protecting Indonesia’s natural heritage.”
Pangolins are the world’s most trafficked mammal. Eight species of pangolins (Family: Manidae) still exist worldwide. Four of the species occur in Asia, including the Sundanese Pangolin (Manis javanicus) which is listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
WCS’s Wildlife Crimes Unit in Indonesia is supported by the Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation, Fondation Segré, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Multinational Species Conservation Funds, US Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), USAID Lestari Project, AZA Tiger Species Survival Plan’s Tiger Conservation Campaign, the UK Government's IWT Challenge Fund and Darwin Initiative, Paul G. Allen Philanthropies, the Morgan Family Foundation, Global Conservation, and the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund. The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a joint initiative of l’Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the MacArthur Foundation, and the World Bank. A fundamental goal is to ensure civil society is engaged in biodiversity conservation.