Bali prosecutors demand 6 months for Russian charged with attempt to smuggle drugged baby orangutan out of Indonesia

The baby orangutan had been unconscious when it was found, authorities reportedly suspected that it had been drugged. Photo: Balai KSDA Bali / Facebook
The baby orangutan had been unconscious when it was found, authorities reportedly suspected that it had been drugged. Photo: Balai KSDA Bali / Facebook

Prosecutors in Bali demanded earlier today that Andrei Zhestkov, a Russian man who was arrested for attempting to smuggle a drugged orangutan out of Indonesia, be sentenced to six months in jail for violating Indonesia’s 1990 Conservation Law. 

Speaking at the Denpasar Court, prosecutor AA Made Suarja Teja Buana also demanded that Zhestkov be made to pay a fine of IDR 5 million (USD 353) for his crime, according to a report from Bali Post. 

Six months in prison and a fine seems relatively light, considering the 1990 Conservation Law actually carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. 

The 28-year-old was arrested at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport in March while passing through a security screening, where he was allegedly caught carrying an orangutan in his suitcase, as reported by CNN Indonesia.

Zhestkov was stopped by airport authorities promptly asked him to open up his luggage, in which they found the unconscious baby orangutan.

Orangutans are a critically endangered species, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), with an estimated population of only about 100,000 remaining worldwide.

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