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Baby lobster smugglers arrested
The logo of the Customs and Excise Office. (Courtesy of/Google.com)
February 26th, 2018 | 09:39 AM | 381 views
Soekarno Hatta International Airport customs officials have seized four suitcases containing baby lobsters on a plane departing for Singapore on Thursday.
The officials seized more than 71,000 baby lobsters in 193 packages inside the suitcases that were already inside the baggage hold of a Lion Air aircraft.
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani said five people were named suspects in the case.
“The police arrested a group of smugglers comprising one supervisor and four carriers,” she said in a press conference on Friday.
Sri Mulyani said the officials’ became suspicious when one of the suspects made odd gestures at the customs gate.
The officials immediately opened the suspect's checked in baggage but found nothing suspicious.
The officials then decided to check all of the passengers cabin bags as well as the bags loaded in the aircraft’s baggage hold, where the packages were eventually found.
“The total potential loss from this case could have exceeded Rp 30 billion [US$2.19 million], according to bu Susi,” Sri said, referring to Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti.
Sri said the suspects were facing multiple charges under the law on animal quarantine and seafood shipping, as well as Law No. 17/2007 on smuggling, which carries a maximum punishment of 10 years imprisonment and a Rp 5 billion fine.
As of February, the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry has arrested 20 people for attempting to smuggle baby lobsters from airports in Jakarta, Bali, Jambi, and Lombok.
The ministry dealt with 77 similar cases in 2017 with a potential loss of more than Rp 300 billion. (gis/swd)
courtesy of THE JAKARTA POST
by The Jakarta Post
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