Head of the National Disaster Management Agency Doni Monardo along with Chief of Army Hadi Tjahjanto and National Police Chief Tito Karnavian reviewed forest and land fires in Riau Province, Sunday (09/15) - Photo by the Agency

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Indonesia’ environment and forestry ministry named four corporates as the suspect of the forest fire in Riau, Jambi, South Sumatera, West and Central Kalimantan, said the official on Saturday (09/13). Among them were local plantation firm PT Sampoerna Agro Tbk (IDX: SGRO), also three Malaysian companies Sime Darby Bhd, IOI Corp., Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd and TDM Bhd

During the investigation since mid August, the ministry sealed off 42 corporates and one individual regarding the illegal forest fires in several areas in Sumatra and Kalimantan. Sealing off means the plantations cannot operate while an investigation is carried out by the authorities.

The director general at the ministry, Rasio Ridho Sani stated, the ministry will further conduct an investigation to all the lands owned by corporates and individual. He said, these companies are facing permit revocation, to pay compensation in a civil lawsuit, until imprisonment, pay a fine, and profit-taking in the criminal suit.

On Friday, the authorities has suspended plantations owned by 29 companies and bring the total area has been suspended to more than 6,000 hectares, adds by Sani. He assured that the government has a serious commitment to prosecute them and we will take strict measures to those companies.

According to the National Disaster Management Agency data, the South-East Asia’ largest economy suffered losses of about US$16.1 billion since 2015. About 500,000 people suffered respiratory illnesses. Sani revealed his side has revoked the permit of three firms in wildfire cases in 2015, while 17 corporates were charged in civil lawsuits to pay a total compensation of Rp3.15 trillion ($225 million) since 2015.

Yesterday, Head of the agency Doni Monardo along with National Army chief Commander Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto and National Police Chief General Tito Karnavian reviewed forest and land fires in Riau Province. Tjahjanto took command to mobilize the troops and conduct analysis and evaluation related to the constraints and needs of the extinction carried out by land.

“We will send an excavator to widen the moat. Then also the water pump and the hose,” said the commander.

Monardo added, there were 27 hotspots of high category detected in Riau Province. In general, Pekanbaru City is still shrouded in thin to thick smoke with visibility reaching 1 kilometers (km). Visibility ranges from 1 to 2.2 km and temperatures range to 37 degrees Celsius.

US$1: Rp14,000

Written by Staff Editor, Email: theinsiderstories@gmail.com