Indonesia says arrested Russian smuggled orangutan, lizards

Indonesian Natural Resources Conservation Center officers carry a two-year-old male orangutan in a cage during a press conference in Bali, Indonesia Monday, March 25, 2019. Indonesian authorities have arrested a Russian tourist who was attempting to smuggle a drugged orangutan out of the resort island of Bali, a conservation official said Sunday. Orangutans are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

Indonesian police say they also found geckos and chameleons in the luggage of a Russian tourist who has been arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle a drugged orangutan out of Bali

DENPASAR, Indonesia — Indonesian police said Monday they also found geckos and chameleons in the luggage of a Russian tourist who was arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle a drugged orangutan out of Bali.

Andrei Zhestkov was detained late Friday at Bali's international airport after security officers found a 2-year-old endangered male orangutan sleeping in a rattan basket in his luggage.

Police showed the suspect along with the lizards and other evidence at a news conference Monday. Zhestkov, wearing an orange detainee uniform, refused to comment.

Local police chief Ruddi Setiawan said Zhestkov had confessed that he bought the orangutan for $3,000 from a street market on Indonesia's main island of Java. He said Zhestkov said he fed it allergy pills mixed with milk so it would lose consciousness for up to 10 hours on his planned flight back home to Vladivostok.

"We are still investigating his motive in attempting to smuggle the orangutan out of Indonesia," Setiawan said. "We are also searching for the trader who sold the animals to the suspect."

He said authorities found two geckos and four chameleons in his bags.

He said Zhestkov, if found guilty, faces up to five years in jail and $7,000 in fines for attempting to smuggle wildlife.

Orangutans are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Only around 13,400 Sumatran orangutans remain in the wild.

A 2018 comprehensive study of Borneo's orangutans estimated their numbers have plummeted by more than 100,000 since 1999, as the palm oil and paper industries shrink their habitat and fatal conflicts with people increase.

Peaple also read these

Trade groups appeal to Beijing to postpone...

May 15, 2017

Global business groups asked China to postpone enforcing a cybersecurity law they say violates its...

Computer beats Chinese champion in ancient board...

May 23, 2017

A computer that plays go has defeated China's top player of the ancient board came and the Chinese...

World stocks dip, oil price stabilizes after big...

May 26, 2017

World stock markets weaken as G-7 summit of leaders gets underway, while oil stabilizes after...

China clamping down on use of VPNs to evade Great...

Jul 20, 2017

China clamping down on use of VPNs to evade internet controls

China criticizes British freedom of navigation...

Jul 31, 2017

China has criticized plans by Britain to send its new aircraft carriers on freedom of navigation...

Sign up now!

About Us

SainsKini is established to address and cover all notable science and technology discoveries made in the region and properly credit them for the whole world to acknowledge.