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A Crime Against Nature

Australian Hamish Stuart Samson Apprehended in Bali for Selling Products from Endangered Wildlife.

(8/26/2011) The Agency for Nature Conservation (BKSDA) working in cooperation with the Special Crime Directorate of the Bali Police (Reskrimsus) have confiscated the hides of tens of protected animals during a raid on a shop owned by Australian Hamish Stuart Samson (34) on Jalan Patih Jelantik in Bali.

Beritabali.com and Bali Post report that the raid seized body organs from protected animals, 4 animal skeleton and 37 crocodile hides, 26 snakeskins and 7 wallets made from crocodile hides.

According to Sumasono, the section chief for BKSDA Bali, the shop was raided after police received information that the sale of organs form protected species were taking place from the location. Press reports say that Samson told the police during interrogations that the animal products were purchased from Jakarta and Surabaya.

Sumarsono explained: “The skeleton of a small crocodile sells for Rp. 15 million (US$1,700). The skin of the reptile sells for between Rp. 2-3 million (US$225-US$340). He said the organs were old stock.”

Sumarsono that that Samson was not detained because a lawyer guaranteed his attendance and cooperation in the criminal investigation process.

Samson may be charged under the Conservation Law of 1990 that provides for up to five years imprisonment and a fine of Rp. 100 million (US$11,360). Police say the Australian is also guilty of violating a 1998 law on the preservation of rare plant and animal products.