Police to name company suspect in Riau forest fire

Police to name company suspect in Riau forest fire

07 July 2013

published by www.thejakartapost.com

Indonesia — The Riau Police have said they will soon name a company as a suspect of forest burning allegedly carried out to clear land for plantations.

“We’re continuing to investigate around 18 witnesses from a plantation company – PT AP [Adei Plantation] – which is strongly indicated to have been involved in land burning,” said Riau Police spokesperson Adj.Sr.Comr.Hermansyah in Pekanbaru on Sunday, as quoted by Antara news agency.

The eighteen witnesses are executives and employees of the company allegedly involved in the crime.

Hermansyah refused to give details of when an announcement would be made. “Let’s see the results of the investigation. Hopefully, a name can be soon announced so that the legal process can be taken to the next level,” said Hermansyah.

PT AP is one of eight Malaysian oil palm companies mentioned by Environment Minister Balthasar Kambuaya as an alleged perpetrator of forest fires in Riau.

The Riau fires reached their peak on June 23, during which a cloud of haze from the fire blanketed the neighboring countries of Malaysia and Singapore.

Riau Police chief Brig.Gen.Condro Kirono previously said the police’s crime detective directorate (Bareskrim) was handling the land fire case involving corporations. He said there would be a determining of a suspect in the case.

The police recently upgraded the status of PT AP’s case to “investigation” from “preliminary investigation”.

Riau Police data shows 24 people have been named as individual suspects in the case. Eleven suspects were arrested in Rokan Hilir while six others were caught in Bengkalis. The remaining seven were arrested in Dumai, Pelalawan and Siak.

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