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NEA obtains court warrant against director of Indonesian firm linked to haze

The National Environment Agency (NEA) announced on 11 May that is has obtained a court warrant against the director of an Indonesian firm linked to the haze in the Southeast Asian region in 2015.

This was following the director failing to appear for an interview with Singaporean authorities, even after he was served a legal notice by the NEA under the Transboundary Haze Pollution Act (THPA) to attend the interview when he was in Singapore.

The interview with the NEA was to be part of ongoing investigations into the firm due to its link to the forest fires which caused the haze in September and October last year.

Neither the firm nor the director was named by the NEA.

“NEA has obtained a court warrant to secure his attendance when he next enters Singapore, which is in accordance with the legal provisions of the THPA,” an NEA spokesperson said in a statement.

“This means that if the director enters Singapore, he can be detained by NEA officers for the purpose of investigations.”

The forest and peatland fires in question are suspected to be raised by errant pulp and paper companies in Indonesia, which led to the haze of 2015.

In his Committee of Supply speech on 12 April, Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli said that notices had been issued to six of the Indonesia-based firms suspected to be responsible.

However, only two firms had responded to the notices, which called for the firms to immediately mitigate of the fires and to henceforth prevent of their recurrence.

Four firms, including the firm whose director did not turn up for the NEA interview, did not respond. Mr Masagos said that the Government planned to step up measures to ensure the enforcement of the THPA.