North Bengkulu Police have arrested two suspects in a sting operation to shut down illegal trade in protected wildlife hides.
The suspects, identified by their initials SN, 42, and AN, 42, were arrested in the Mukomuko regency after locals in the community had told police of suspected tiger skin and bones trading among villagers, Bengkulu Resort Police’s Head of Criminal Detective Unit Jufri said.
Police seized a two metre long sheet of panthera tigris sumatrae skin and bones as evidence, as well as a motorcycle, during the May 15 raid.
“The two suspects were arrested while carrying the tiger skin as well as its bones,” Jufri said, as quoted by Okezone.
The suspects will be sentenced under environmental laws which carry a sentence of five years imprisonment.
Despite the precarious state of the nationally protected animal, the clandestine trade of Sumatran tiger is still common.
Last month a similar crime was reported in Jambi. Two men had hunted a tiger, removing a skin measuring 1.55 metres. The suspects attempted to sell the skin for Rp.60 million (US$4500) before the plot was foiled by police.
A similar case in mid-2016 involved three traders caught with a tiger skin worth an estimated Rp.70 million (US$5260) during an undercover police operation. The syndicate was also found to be carrying three kilograms of pangolin skin.
Image credits: Aktual