The Jakarta Post
The South Sulawesi Police have arrested 15 people for allegedly importing illegal explosive materials from Malaysia to be used for blast fishing in Pangkajene and Islands regency, South Sulawesi.
The 15 suspects, comprising fishermen, suppliers and distributors of the materials, were nabbed in a series of arrests in the past week, said South Sulawesi Police chief Insp. Gen. Muktiono.
A total of 1,300 detonators and several sacks of ammonium nitrate, which were allegedly imported from Malaysia, as well as three boats, a car and a motorcycle, have been confiscated.
He said the detonators and ammonium nitrate were the main materials to make explosives for blast fishing.
The suspects have been charged under the 1951 Emergency Law and 1992 Crop Cultivation System Law and could face a maximum of 20 years in prison if found guilty.
“The alleged mastermind is still at large. He is said to have fled to Malaysia,” Muktiono told the press at the Maccinibaji Port in Pangkajene and Islands, last week.
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Pangkajene and Islands Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Edy Kurniawan said the smuggling ring also distributed the materials to other areas in South Sulawesi such as Makassar and Selayar, and even other provinces such as West Kalimantan.
“The use of explosives for blast fishing is destructive to the sea biota and submarine natural resources. In addition, the materials could also be used for terrorism,” Muktiono said. (bbs)