Indonesia Says Building Criminal Cases Against 8 Firms Over Fires

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Indonesia Says Building Criminal Cases Against 8 Firms Over Fires

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Indonesia says building criminal cases against 8 firms over fires

Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 4:00pm

CAMPAIGN: Corporate Governance

CONTENT: Article

By Aubrey Belford

Indonesian investigators are building criminal cases against eight Southeast Asian companies they suspect of being responsible for raging fires that have blanketed neighboring Singapore and Malaysia with hazardous smog.

The Environment Ministry last week named the firms for their alleged role in Southeast Asia’s worst air pollution crisis in 16 years, which has raised concerns over public health and hurt business and tourism in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Owners of five of the plantations have denied any wrongdoing.

Reuters has not been able to contact the others.A 2009 law carries tough penalties for environmental crimes, although such regulations have rarely been enforced due to Indonesia’s endemic corruption and sprawling geography.

And investigators could find it hard to pin the blame on specific firms because of the complex ownership of palm oil concessions and pulp and paper holdings on Indonesia’s Sumatra island where most of the fires are burning.

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Keywords: Environment | Indonesia | Thomson Reuters | corporate governance | environment | sustainability

CAMPAIGN: Corporate Governance

CONTENT: Article

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