NEW YORK  (20 April 2016)-The Indonesian National Police, POLRESTA SORONG, and the Wildlife Crimes Unit (WCU)  of the WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) announced today an enforcement action against a wildlife supplier trading in protected birds and reptiles in Papua.

The arrest was made in Sorong, Papua, on April 15, 2016, and led by Police Adjunct Commissioner Dodi Pratama, S.Ik from the Sorong Metropolitan Police (POLRESTA Sorong). The supplier faces a maximum charge of 5 years in prison and a USD $10,000 fine.

The operation involved a transaction for eight Yellow-crested Cockatoos, three Birds of Paradise, and three Wallabies—all species protected under Indonesian regulation No. 5 year 1990.

After seizing the animals, police conducted a search inside the suspect’s warehouse where they discovered 106 more animals of various species, both protected and unprotected by law. Among them were Green pythons, White-bellied Serpent Eagles, Blyth’s Hornbills, Palm Cockcatoos, emerald tree monitors, and more.

The suspect subsequently confessed that he has been supplying bird market traders in Java for more than 20 years. In addition to native species, he supplied animals including reptiles from the Philippines, such as Yellow-headed water monitors, to the Indonesian markets. These reptiles transited through Bitung and Makassar before being sent to bird markets in Java.

A previous arrest of a smuggler of reptiles from Jakarta to Australia in July of 2015 has been connected to the suspect as well. In that case, the supplier provided green pythons from Papua to a smuggler in Java. In addition, he supplied protected cockatoos from Papua and the Wallacea region to the Philippines using couriers in Makassar and Bitung seaports.

Police Adjunct Commissioner Dodi Pratama, S.Ik stated, “We would like to extend our appreciation to WCS-Indonesia for their contribution in protecting natural resources from Papua. The Papuan police supports wildlife protection through law enforcement actions and collaboration with WCS-Indonesia.”

Country Director for the WCS-Indonesia Program Dr. Noviar Andayani said, “Papua is a province with a rich biodiversity. We are thankful for everyone’s cooperation and support towards this successful operation. We aim to expand the program to combat the illegal wildlife trade in Papua.”

WCS¹s Wildlife Crimes Unit is supported by the Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation, Fondation Segré, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Multinational Species Conservation Funds, AZA Tiger Species Survival Plan¹s Tiger Conservation Campaign, and the UK Government's IWT Challenge Fund.