The Jakarta Post
The Indonesian government is committed to combating the illegal trade in cigarettes.
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said with increases in cigarette taxes leading to higher prices, more illegal cigarettes would likely flood the market. Citing data, she said that as of Sept. 29, the Customs and Excise Office had legally processed 1,593 illegal cigarette trade cases, up by 29.3 percent from the 1,232 cases handled throughout 2015. In 2014, only 901 cases were taken up.
“From January until now, the Office has confiscated 176.22 million cigarette sticks worth of Rp 135.55 billion (US$10.41 million)," she said at the Customs and Excise Office in East Jakarta on Friday.
To anticipate the possibility of an expanded illegal cigarette trade, the office said it would work with the Trade Ministry and the Industry Ministry to register all cigarette machines operating in Indonesia in a bid to prevent the illegal operation of the machines.
Customs and Excise director general Heru Pambudi promised his office would tightly monitor the distribution of cigarette machines.
Customs and Excise officers staged a three-day operation in Jakarta and Klaten, Central Java, last week. They secured 11.2 million cigarette sticks and one Shenzen brand cigarette machine, which had a production capacity of 1,500 sticks per minute.
"Illegal cigarette production threatens both health and employment in Indonesia’s tobacco industry," Heru said. (ebf)
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