Authorities have confiscated 618 pieces of processed wood sourced from illegal logging operations in protected forests and backed by security officers between February and May, an official stated Saturday.
"The illegal logging cases were exposed just recently after we found the operations in the protected forests," Batam Free Trade Zone (BPK FTZ) security directorate spokesperson Purnomo Andiantono told The Jakarta Post.
The authorities discovered the latest illegal logging operation in the Muka Kuning protected forest on May 21, where 60 pieces of processed wood along with logging equipment were confiscated and six people were arrested, Purnomo said.
He said illegal logging in protected forest areas was backed by so-called oknum (members) of security offices. "They destroyed water catchment areas. Illegal logging contributes to significant environmental destruction," he added.