Indonesia forest fires: 7 firms, 133 people named

2015-09-17 19:04
(Adek Berry, AFP)

(Adek Berry, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Jakarta - Indonesian police said on Thursday they have named seven companies and 133 individuals suspected of causing forest fires that are spreading choking smoke and polluted air across parts of western Indonesia and neighbouring Malaysia and Singapore.

National Police spokesperson Colonel Suharsono said 27 more companies and 85 individuals are still under investigation by police task forces in six provinces in Sumatra and Kalimantan on the Indonesian part of Borneo.

President Joko Widodo has ordered law enforcement agencies to take "stern actions" include revoking their forest concessions and blacklisting those responsible for the fires.

"There are seven corporates and 133 individuals who have been named suspects," said Suharsono, who uses a single name. "Those from the corporations include general managers and operational managers."

Some suspects have been arrested but he did not say how many.

In Pekanbaru, the capital of peat-rich Riau province, police arrested general manager of PT Langam Inti Hibrido, a palm oil plantation company. He was the only executive known to be arrested so far in the cases.

Suharsono said in all police are handling 148 cases, of which the dossiers of 25 cases have been finalised, Suharsono said without specifying when they would be filed to the courts.

He said the suspects would be charged with violating the Environment Law and Forestry Law, which carry a maximum 15-year imprisonment and a fine of about $700 000.

Indonesia is mobilizing thousands of soldiers, police, firefighters and volunteers to extinguish fires and is sending 21 aircraft to conduct cloud seeding and water dropping.

Peat-rich Riau province declared an emergency Monday because the bad air quality was threatening people's health and disrupting flights and other activities.

More than 100 000 people have been affected with acute respiratory infections in South Sumatra and South Kalimantan provinces.

Slash-and-burn practices destroy huge areas of Indonesian forest every summer during the dry season, creating haze that angers surrounding countries. The fires are set to clear land for farming, corporate development or oil palm plantations.

Read more on:    indonesia  |  fires

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.