Indonesian officials arrest Jakarta man on suspicion of sale of exotic wildlife parts over the Internet
JAKARTA, Indonesia — An Indonesian man has been arrested on suspicion of using the Internet to sell hundreds of illegal wildlife parts -- including ivory, tiger skins and the teeth of the world's smallest bears.
The parts were allegedly destined for domestic and international markets, and several other suspects were being pursued, said Darori, director general of the Forestry Ministry, on Thursday.
The suspect was arrested in his art shop during a Feb. 9 raid carried out by police and forestry officials in the capital, Jakarta, he said, adding that the U.S.-based Wildlife Conservation Society helped tip off authorities.
They found 26 items at the scene and hundreds more waiting to be shipped by courier service, including teeth from sun bears, native to Southeast Asia.
"This is just the first case," said Darori. "If you are trying to sell wildlife online, beware. We will catch you and you will be prosecuted."
Indonesia, made up of more than 17,000 islands straddling the equator, is one of the most biologically diverse corners of the Earth, with thousands of animal species, many of which can't be found anywhere else.
But the illegal wildlife trade threatens many of its animals -- including rhinos, orangutans and sharks. They are used for food, medicines, skins, biomedical research and souvenirs and sold as pets.
-- Associated Press
Photo: An Indonesian official shows a tiger tooth and other body parts of endangered animals confiscated during the Jakarta raid. Credit: Wildlife Conservation Society / Associated Press