INDONESIAN OFFICIALS INVESTIGATING HAZE HELD HOSTAGE FOR 12H – DEATH THREATS GIVEN

It was reported that Indonesian officials who were investigating forest fires on Sumatra island were taken hostage by a mob which was allegedly linked to a palm oil company.

Seven officials were at a plantation where a company, Andika Permata Sawit Lestari (APSL) was suspected of using fires to illegally clear land, according to a statement from the environment ministry.

Just as the team was leaving the plantation, the officials were stopped by more than 100 men. The men demanded that the officials deleted the photographs that they had taken.

The officials were taken hostage and held for almost 12 hours. During their capture, the mob intimidated them; threatening to beat them, kill them and dump their bodies in a nearby river.

After the intevention of the local police chief and a group of officers, the officials were eventually released unharmed.

While the photographs had been deleted, it appears that those capture by a drone were saved and the authorities believe that the photographs would prove that the fires were illegally started.

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