Java police expose endangered animal smuggling syndicate

Police in East Java exposed a large cargo of endangered animals being smuggled out of Indonesia by a international syndicate of criminals yesterday (March 27).

The arrest was made in Surabaya after police traced a suspect identified as 'RSL' trafficking the animals to his home, and arrested him on February 22.

A full inventory of the retrieved animal cargo was shown at a police press conference on March 27.

The syndicate had been smuggling various type of endangered animals including pangolins, Komodo dragons, otters, monkey, birds of prey and parrots among a host of other protected species.

The smugglers are believe to have been operating since 2016, and are estimated to have sold 41 Komodo dragons abroad, which reportedly can sell individually for 15-20 million INR (around $1000-1400 USD).

The suspects can face up to five years in jail and heavy fines for violating the environmental conservation laws.