NEA clears 2 firms, warrant issued for director in haze probe

NEA clears 2 firms, warrant issued for director in haze probe
A man walks at Marina Barrage during a hazy day on Sept 24, 2015. TODAY file photo
Court warrant issued to detain one unnamed director for investigations if he enters Singapore
Published: 2:20 PM, March 2, 2017
Updated: 10:21 PM, March 2, 2017

SINGAPORE  — The National Environment Agency (NEA) has cleared two of six companies investigated for their role in causing the transboundary haze in 2015.

A court warrant, however, has been issued to detain a director of one of the remaining four firms being investigated the next time he enters Singapore.

In an update on its investigations into the fires which caused the 2015 haze under the Transboundary Haze Pollution Act (THPA), the NEA said it has closed its case against PT Bumi Sriwijaya Sentosa and PT Wachyuni Mandira after investigating and accepting their explanations that they were no longer associated with the affected concession lands before the fires started in 2015. 

The cases against the remaining four Indonesia companies — PT Bumi Andalas Permai, PT Bumi Mekar Hijau, PT Sebangun Bumi Andalas Woods Industries and PT Rimba Hutani Mas — remain open as they have not responded to the NEA’s letters despite repeated reminders.

The NEA has also obtained a court warrant to detain an unnamed director of one of the four companies for investigations the next time he enters the Republic. 

This director had been served with a THPA notice to be interviewed by the agency when he was in Singapore, but he failed to turn up. The NEA said it will continue to seek to interview other directors of these companies if they enter the country.

As these four companies are suppliers to Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), the NEA added that under the THPA, it had written to APP to ask for information about the four suppliers.

“The information provided by APP to date has been limited and more information is still being sought from them for NEA’s investigations into these four companies,” said the 

Under the THPA, entities which cause or contribute to unhealthy levels of haze in Singapore could be fined up to S$2 million.