Press Release: ProFauna Urges Full Law Enforcement on the Smuggling of 22 Sea Turtles Involving a Corrupt Police Officer in Bali

ProFauna Urges Full Law Enforcement on the Smuggling of 22 Sea Turtles Involving a Corrupt Police Officer in Bali(12/30/2012) The arrest of an allegedly corrupt police officer of the the Watir Police of Bali, with initials M.R., on Pandawa Beach, Kutuh, Southern Kuta, Badung - Bali on Thursday, 27th December 2012, was an alarming situation in the end of 2012. Jatmiko Wiwoho, Coordinator of ProFauna Bali, stated that the case flaunted the law enforcement efforts of wildlife conservation in the Island. This was in contrast with Water Police of Bali's achievement in foiling the smuggling of 33 sea turtles from the Tanjung Benoa waters in Nusa Dua Island, two weeks before.

ProFauna urges full law enforcement on the involvement of the allegedly corrupt police officer in order to reveal the mafia networks behind the illegal trade of sea turtles in Bali. ProFauna believes that the two cases are like the tip of an iceberg. "If there is supply, there must be demand" Wiwoho stated. ProFauna records show that between the beginning of 2010 and the end of 2012, there are six cases of sea turtle smuggling attempt that had been foiled by the police. More than 200 sea turtles had been confiscated. The number is believed to be bigger in the black markets.

Wiwoho added, "All sea turtle species have been protected by the law, meaning that the trade of live sea turtles and the body parts is prohibited." According to the Law Number 5 year 1990 concerning the Conservation of the Natural Resources and the Ecosystem, offenders are liable to a five year prison term and a 100-million Indonesia Rupiah fine. For these reasons, ProFauna urges the Bali Police Department to fully enforce the law on the smuggling case.. "The judicial process should give the fullest penalty to the offenders found guilty. For the allegedly corrupt police officer, if he is found guilty, the official should dismiss him for acting as a bad role model to the public and defacing the police as a law enforcement institution", Wiwoho recommended.

In addition, the allegedly corrupt police officer had been successfully arrested with the help of community security (locally known as Linmas) of Kutuh Village, Southern Kuta. The community then worked together with the local police to arrest the suspect. ProFauna applauded the community, especially the Head of Kutuh Village, Nyoman Mesir, for foiling the sea turtle smuggling. This has to be a good example for other local communities to get involved in the conservation of sea turtles in Bali.

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ProFauna Indonesia is an Indonesian society for the protection of
wild animals and their habitats