Light Sentence, Sumatran Orangutan Trafficking Still Happens

  • Trade in Umatran orangutans [ Pongo abelii ] continues to occur in Aceh. The sentence imposed by the judge did not give the perpetrators any fear .
  • Even though this crime involves many actors with various organized roles , it is cross-border .
  • The reason the judge gave heavy sentences to the perpetrators of environmental crimes was that the judge used an environmental perspective and biodiversity conservation, in addition to the defendant's actions being considered disturbing to the community. Severe penalties are also given because the perpetrator repeats the crime or is recidivist.
  • The Leuser and Ulu Masen forests are locations for hunters looking for protected animals such as elephants, tigers, rhinos and Sumatran orangutans.

Trade in Sumatran orangutans [ Pongo abelii ] continues to occur in Aceh. The sentence decided by the judge does not give the perpetrators any fear.

For example, the perpetrator Nanta Agustia [31] , who was arrested when he wanted to sell a baby orangutan in Langsa City, Aceh, Monday [3/7/2023].

The Langsa City District Court [PN] Panel of Judges led by Dini Damayanti, with judges as members Riswan Herafiansyah and Muhammad Yuslimu Rabbi, found the resident of ALue Pineung, East Langsa District, Langsa City guilty. However, the sentence is only one and a half years in prison and a fine of IDR 40 million, subsidiary to one month in prison.

Decision Number: 124/Pid.B.LH/2023/PN LGs confirms that the defendant violated Article 40 Paragraph [2] in conjunction with Article 21 Paragraph [2] letter a of Law Number 5 of 1990 concerning Conservation of Living Natural Resources and Their Ecosystems. This sentence is lighter than the Public Prosecutor's demand, namely 2.5 years in prison.

"There is consideration of the motive, aim and criminal act, as well as the life history, inner attitude and socio-economic situation of the defendant. "The punishment given must be appropriate and not excessive," explained the Panel of Judges in its decision, Monday [30/10/2023].

Based on the facts of the trial, it is known that from 2022-2023, Nanta sold orangutan children four times. All obtained from a resident of Aceh Tamiang Regency.

"In 2022, buy one and in 2023 buy three individuals," he said at the hearing.


The orangutan trafficking case was also uncovered by the Aceh Tamiang Police, Wednesday [13/9/2023]. Four perpetrators were arrested, namely Ali Ahmad, Arigozali, M Amin, and Irwansyah.

At the Kuala Simpang District Court, Aceh Tamiang Regency, Ali Ahmad, a resident of Upah Village, Bendahara District, Aceh Tamiang, admitted to buying a baby orangutan from a resident of Tenggulun District, Aceh Tamiang.

After going through the trial process, Wednesday [3/1/2024], the Panel of Judges chaired by Tri Syawarni along with member judges Andi Taufik and Arief Budiman, found the four guilty.

Ali Ahmad, three years in prison, fine of IDR 100 million, subsidiary three months in prison. Irwansyah, one year in prison, fine of IDR 100 million, subsidiary three months in prison. Arigozali, one year and nine months in prison, fine of IDR 100 million, subsidiary three months in prison. M Amin, one year and three months in prison, fine of IDR 100 million, subsidiary three months in prison.

From the trial it was discovered that Ali and his friends [Awaluddin and Khairi Roza] had been arrested by the Riau Regional Police, Monday [9/11/2015], for selling three orangutan children brought from Aceh Tamiang.

Based on the decision of the Panel of Judges at the Pekanbaru District Court Number: 55/Pid.Sus.LH/2016/PN Pbr, Ali Ahmad was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison and a fine of IDR 80 million, subsidiary to three months in prison.

Low sentences do not deter perpetrators

Aidil Ramadan, an environmental activist in Banda Aceh, said that the orangutan trade in Langsa City and Aceh Tamiang is still continuing because the poachers have not been caught.

"The facts of the trial state that Nanta bought it from Parli, a resident of Tenggulun, Aceh Tamiang. Ali got it from Suparli, it's probably the same person. "A lot of law enforcement stops with the first or second seller, not with the hunter," he explained, Thursday [15/2/2024].

Legal Advocacy for the Aceh Forest, Nature and Environment Foundation [HAkA], Nurul Ikhsan, said that the punishment for sellers of protected wild animals, whether alive or dead, is still light. This causes the perpetrator not to feel the deterrent effect and repeat his actions after being released.

"Orangutan hunters and sellers should be punished severely," he explained.

Fahmi from the Environmental Defenders Association [P2LH] said that there are many things that cause the sentences for perpetrators of environmental crimes to be low.

“For example, the judge's lack of insight into the impact of the perpetrator's actions. "Also, whether the judge has an environmental certificate or not," he explained, Saturday [17/2/2024].

Until now, the maximum sentence regulated by law is only five years in prison.

"Sometimes, judges consider if the maximum sentence is immediately imposed, when there is a bigger crime then it is impossible to give the same sentence," he said.

Wahyu Pratama, Legal Team for the Suar Galang Justice Institute [LSGK] Aceh, said that the punishment factor is not only seen from the judge's side, but also from the investigation to the prosecution.

"When the case goes viral, usually the verdict will be high."

It is important for civil society institutions to carry out supervision from the moment the case is revealed and handled legally.

"Our experience is that if the case is not serious then the sentence is very low. It won't have a deterrent effect."

Indonesian Center for Environmental Law [ICEL] researcher, Antonius Aditantyo Nugroho together with Gabrielle Jane and Salsabila Hana Safira, Students at the Faculty of Law, University of Indonesia, in the book New Directions for Law Enforcement Policy for the Conservation of Biological Natural Resources and Ecosystems , examine decisions on protected wildlife crime cases in Indonesia for the period 2009 – 2019.

The high crime rate is due to low criminal penalties so that it does not have a deterrent effect on criminals. "This crime involves many actors with various organized roles, and is transnational in nature."

Based on searches from 2009 to 2019, there were 150 court decisions in various regions of Indonesia. "Most of them were in the Sumatran district court, with 72 decisions. "In terms of provinces, the most is North Sumatra [19 decisions], followed by Aceh [15], and Bengkulu [9]," explained Antonius.

There are several considerations for the panel of judges when sentencing a perpetrator, from high to low sentences.

The aggravating reason was that the panel of judges used an environmental and biodiversity conservation perspective, apart from the fact that the defendant's actions were considered disturbing to the community. Severe penalties are also given because the perpetrator repeats the crime or recidivates.

The mitigating decision is related to the defendant's subjective condition. For example, the defendant is frank, polite during the trial, has never been convicted, is remorseful, and is the breadwinner of the family. Another consideration, punishment is to educate and develop the defendant.

"The defendant's ignorance of the status of protected animals is also considered as a mitigating factor, apart from humanitarian reasons," he said.

Orangutans have become targets of the international black market _ _

Tezar Pahlevi, an environmental and wildlife observer in Aceh, previously said that the Leuser and Ulu Masen forests were locations for hunters looking for protected animals.

"Aceh still has good forests, so elephants, tigers, rhinos and orangutans are still found," he explained, Thursday [18/1/2024].

Protected animals in Aceh have entered the domestic market on Java and end up in the hands of collectors and craftsmen for resale.

"We detected the smuggling of orangutan children through Aceh waters, then taken to Thailand, Vietnam, then transported to the Middle East. At least six individuals are sent at a time. Animals are brought in small boats through rat ports, then transferred to ships in the middle of the sea.”

According to Tezar, hunting and trade in protected animals is based on several factors, such as market demand, traditional medicinal ingredients and pets.

Law enforcement officers can ensnare the perpetrators using Law Number 5 of 1990 concerning Conservation of Living Natural Resources and their Ecosystems and Law Number 8 of 2010 concerning the Crime of Money Laundering.

“The amount of money turnover ranks third in the world, after illegal drug trafficking and illegal firearms trafficking. "Therefore, wildlife crime must also be charged with the crime of money laundering," he said.

The Aceh Regional Police's Ditreskrimsus noted that from 2020 to 2023, there were 27 cases of hunting and trade in protected wild animals with 36 suspects.

The Committee for Sub-Directorate IV Tipiter Ditreskrimsus Polda Aceh, Inspector Wahyudi, said that our low level of concern for the conservation of wild plants and animals is the reason that poaching continues to occur. Apart from that, the price factor is high.

“Law enforcement is important because it has an impact on ecosystem damage and extinction. "Environmental crimes have also become an international concern," he explained.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post