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2015 haze: NEA still investigating Asia Pulp and Paper suppliers

SINGAPORE (From Channel NewsAsia) -- The National Environment Agency (NEA) is still investigating four Indonesian suppliers of Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), which was allegedly linked to the forest fires that caused severe haze in Singapore in 2015.

In an update to the media on Thursday (Mar 2), NEA said the four companies - PT Bumi Andalas Permai, PT Bumi Mekar Hijau, PT Sebangun Bumi Andalas Woods Industries and PT Rimba Hutani Mas - have not responded to its letters despite repeated reminders.

Information provided by APP "has been limited", NEA added.

A director from one of the companies listed was served with a notice to be interviewed by NEA while he was in Singapore, but failed to turn up for the interview, the agency said previously.

"In accordance with the Transboundary Haze Pollution Act's legal provisions, NEA has obtained a court warrant to secure his attendance when he next enters Singapore. This means that if the director enters Singapore, he may be detained by NEA for investigations," it said.

The agency added that it will also seek to interview the directors of the other companies if they entered Singapore.

"NEA has also written to Asia Pulp and Paper pursuant to Section 10 of the Transboundary Haze Pollution Act to request information on the four suppliers," the update said. "These four cases remain open and NEA will continue its investigations."

Another two companies, PT Bumi Sriwijaya Sentosa and PT Wachyuni Mandira, interviewed by NEA said they had no links to the affected areas before the 2015 forest fires. After further investigations, NEA accepted their explanations and closed the two cases, it said.

Minister for Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli said last year during the Committee of Supply debate that NEA sent notices to six Indonesia-based companies following the haze in 2015. Even if the errant company's officers are foreigners, they have to comply with Singapore's laws if they enter the country, he said.

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Join Jim Thompson on the 2nd Annual Papermakers Mission Trip to Guatemala, 22 - 29 July 17. Build houses, talk about the pulp and paper industry. For more information, email jthompson@taii.com with "Guatemala" in the subject line.


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