The Riau Land and Forest Fire (Karhutla) task force has arrested a suspected land burner in Meranti Island regency.
“They found equipment such as a chainsaw, a kerosene jerry can, a lighter and a cell phone,” Karhutla Riau task force deputy commander Edwar Sanger said as quoted by Antara in Pekanbaru on Saturday.
He said the suspect, S, was arrested on Friday evening in Tebing Tinggi district, Meranti.
Suspicion of unlawful activity was raised during a routine patrol conducted by the Riau Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) together with the Indonesian Military (TNI) and National Police.
During the patrol, personnel found traces of burned soil. A hut allegedly inhabited by land burners was found not far from the location.
Following up on the report, the task force, comprising personnel from the 462 Command Battalion of the Air Force Special Forces (Paskhas), the Riau Police’s Special Crime Detective Directorate and BPBD Riau flew to the location on a Puma HT-3310 helicopter and another helicopter provided by the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).
Paskhas and police personnel later searched the hut where they found a man strongly suspected to have burned the land. The 40-year old was flown to Pekanbaru for further questioning and the police sealed the burned land.
“We will pursue the mastermind of the land burning. We will uphold the law to create a deterrent effect,” said Edwar.