Exterminators arrested for orangutan killings

The Jakarta Post: November 21, 2011

The police have arrested two palm oil plantation workers for allegedly killing dozens of monkeys and orangutans in Puan Cepak village in Kutai Kartanegara, East Kalimantan.

The suspects, both exterminators, claimed that they were paid to kill the animals under orders from a supervisor.

“They received Rp 200,000 [US$22] to kill a monkey and Rp 1 million for an orangutan,” National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Saud Usman Nasution said on Monday as quoted by tribunnews.com.

The suspects claimed that they killed 20 orangutans and monkeys between 2008 and 2010, although police believe the true number of slaughtered animals number to be much higher.

Saud said that the men would send dogs to find and kill the animals if they could not be shot.

“If [the animals] had already been shot and killed, they would take pictures and ask for pay from the company,” he said.

Among items taken into evidence by investigators were photographs of the slain animals and buried bones unearthed near the plantation.

When asked whether or not the police would arrest the managers, Saud said, “We are developing [the investigation].”

The suspects face five years in jail and Rp 100 million in fine for violating Law No. 5/1990 on Natural Resources and Ecosystem Conservation.


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