Thu, 29 May 2003

Reward offered for illegal loggers

KENDARI, Southeast Sulawesi: Tongkuno district chief La Ode Kardini has offered a Rp 100,000 (US$12) reward for any information leading to the arrest of illegal loggers in his Southeast Sulawesi district in Muna regency.

He has urged the public not to be afraid to come forward and share their information, assuring that their identities would be kept confidential.

About 350 cubic meters of logs from past arrests were piled on the roadside waiting to be auctioned off, Kardini said, adding that the perpetrators were caught red-handed. The confiscated logs are of the high quality but rare hardwood type.

Tongkuno district as well as Muna regency are seeing their forests shrink due to illegal loggers.

Muna Regent Ridwan said that illegal loggers were targeting forests where hardwood grew. -- Antara