Monday, 15 July 2013

Indonesia to charge KL Kepong unit over smog-causing fires

Indonesia will file charges against PT Adei Plantations, a unit of Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, over illegal fires that blanketed Singapore and Malaysia with hazardous smog last month. Police are investigating four other companies for suspected involvement in the fires but have not identified them. The environment ministry last month named eight Southeast Asian companies as possible suspects. KL Kepong has denied wrongdoing, saying it has a zero burning policy and the fires were outside its concessions.
  • An individual found guilty of starting a forest fire can face a jail term of up to 10 years and fines of up to Rp10bn. A guilty company can also have its profits seized, operations shut down and be sued for damages. 
  • An investigation by industry body, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), found no evidence that KL Kepong, a member of the group, was responsible for the fires, a spokesman said. 
  • "The RSPO has cleared KL Kepong of this issue. We have made our statements to the relevant parties and we stand by our statements," said Roy Lim, the company's plantations director. "Looking again at the satellite data, the hot spots are all outside our territory," he added. (StarBiz)


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