Customs seizes sex toys
at Soekarno-Hatta Airport

TANGERANG (JP): Customs and Excise officers at Soekarno-Hatta InternationalAirport have recently foiled a series of attempts to smuggle sex toys and Viagra pills into the country, an official said on Wednesday.

Speaking at a media conference, Heru Santoso, head of the airport's Customs and Excise unit in Terminal II, said that over the past seven days 280 male sex toys, scores of vibrators with a combined weight of 12.7 kilograms, penis enlargers and plastic novelty female breasts had been seized.

The goods, estimated to be worth Rp 4 billion (US$470,600), had been shipped from Taiwan and the United States via courier firms such as FedEx and DHL, Heru said.

So far, no one has been named as a suspect in the cases, but Heru said his office with the help of related institutions was still investigating them.

All of the items had no proper documentation, he said.

""The sex toys from Taiwan, for example, only have a price of around Rp 84million, but had no licenses from the health ministry permitting them to enter the country,"" he said.

""The confiscated items from the States, including the electronic penis enlargers, were mailed via DHL and the novelty females breasts were sent via FedEx,"" said Heru.

The number of Viagra pills confiscated totaled 450.

""The pills can actually be legally imported to Indonesia with the health ministry's consent,"" he said.

Another major find by the airport officers was a box containing 574 pieces of protected coral reef that was being sent to Canada, France and Taiwan via Eva Air flight number BR 238.

""The exporter, PT Cahaya Baru of Jl. Beo, Bintaro Permai complex, South Jakarta, wrote in the shipment notice that the package contained 6,000 decorative fishes,"" Heru said.

""We are coordinating with officials from the forestry ministry for further investigation and analysis of this case,"" he added.

None of the export company's executives could be reached for comment on Thursday.

Coral reefs are protected by Law No.5/1990 on the Conservation of NaturalResources and Ecosystems. Trade in coral pieces is also prohibited by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Flora and Fauna (CITES).

Heru said his office would transfer all the confiscated items to the Jakarta Police for further investigation. (41/nvn)

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