Sat, 25 Jan 2003

Police hunt marijuana syndicate

BANDA ACEH, Aceh: A joint police force has launched a massive hunt in Banda Aceh for a syndicate believed to own over two tons of dried marijuana leaves seized on Thursday in North Aceh regency.

The illegal materials, confiscated from a North Sumatra-bound truck in front of Baktiya precinct police station in the regency, were the largest quantity ever seized by the North Aceh police.

North Aceh police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Eko Daniyanto said, when contacted by Antara in Banda Aceh on Friday, that the 2,197 kilograms of marijuana leaves packed in cardboard boxes were about to be smuggled out of the province.

"The North Aceh police are cooperating with the Banda Aceh police in the hunt because investigation has indicated that syndicate suspects are still at large in the Aceh capital city," Eko added. --Antara

Jambi to tighten logging permits

JAMBI, Jambi: The provincial police of Jambi have appealed for tighter control over the issue of logging permits for the prevention of illegal logging and environmental damage in the region.

In response to hopes that the environment would be safeguarded, as expressed by President Megawati on her visit to Jambi on Wednesday, regional police chief Brig. Gen. Mudjianto said on Friday his personnel were continuing to intensify their environmental protection efforts.

"But the eradication of timber theft now rampant in Jambi should be better coordinated with other relevant regencies in the region in order to facilitate field anticipation and control," Mudjianto pointed out.

The provincial police leader stressed the importance of coordination with the forestry agency because the granting of logging permits in areas where only conserved vegetation remained would certainly lead to illegal exploitation. --Antara

33,000 flood victims evacuated

PONTIANAK, West Kalimantan: Seventeen thousand families, or 33,000 people, were evacuated from floods that had hit four areas in West Kalimantan for almost two weeks and claimed five lives.

West Kalimantan Governor Usman Ja'far reported the disaster, which had affected 10 districts in the regencies of Pontianak, Bengkayang, Sambas and the municipality of Singkawang, to visiting Vice President Hamzah Haz in Pontianak on Friday.

Hamzah Haz, who was in Pontianak to open an economy conference and a working meeting of the Indonesian Muslim Intellectuals Association, symbolically handed over aid to the regents and mayor of the flood-stricken areas.

The floods, lasting from January 10 to January 22, also submerged 10,805 hectares of paddy and corn fields as well as horticultural plantations, rendering 2,381 hectares of paddy field unproductive. --Antara

;JP;DEB; ANPAa..r.. Train-accident-victims already edited JP/5/TRAIN

Train derailed, two killed

BANDUNG, West Java: Two people were killed when a freight train drove off a dead-end track into a ravine beside Cilame station, Padalarang, 15 kilometers west of the West Java capital of Bandung on Thursday.

The cause of PT Kereta Api Indonesia's (PT KAI's) latest fatal accident appears to be related to a stop light either not being activated or ignored.

PT KAI spokesman for Bandung, Akhmad Sujadi, said on Friday that police had been unable to remove the bodies of the victims, who were crushed beneath two cars.

"The team has just found their legs while other body parts have yet to be removed," he said.

A third man, Asep, 24, from Bandung, suffered serious injuries. He was being cared for at the Hasan Sadikin General Hospital in the city.

Akhmad said the victims were illegal passengers because the 15-car train, carrying textiles to Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta, was not intended for passengers.

Akhmad said locomotive engineer Sukirwan was helping police with their investigation. --JP