A long-running PHS TPCU investigation into a tiger poaching syndicate operating in two national parks in Sumatra has resulted in the arrest of three men – one, the syndicate kingpin – on tiger poaching and trade charges.
Law enforcement was conducted (just before Christmas) in partnership with Bengkulu provincial police detectives with the entire body parts of a freshly-killed large adult male, tiger, poached in Bukit Barisan Selatan national park to the south of Kerinci Seblat, as evidence.
The investigation which led to law enforcement launched in 2018 after a Bengkulu TPCU community ranger received a tip-off from a forest-edge farmer about ‘outsiders’ entering national park forests.
The investigation proceeded to identity men from two districts in the south of Bengkulu province with local NGO partner Lingkar Institute working closely with the TPCU team on subsequent monitoring of the suspects.
The two poachers arrested came from a village in a district in the north-west of Bukit Barisan Selatan national park which lies more than 150Km south of Kerinci Seblat with a third man, who acted as the poachers’ ‘broker’ from a second, adjoining district in south Bengkulu.
Covert interviews with the suspects shortly before law enforcement was conducted confirmed the gang was poaching tigers in both Bengkulu and Jambi provinces in Kerinci Seblat and Bukit Barisan Selatan national parks and in a protected forest lying between the two national parks.
This case is now proceeding through case development by Bengkulu provincial police and is expected to be passed to Bengkulu City court prosecutors in late January or early February.