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Jakarta Post

Police thwart attempted smuggling of Rp 1.28b in lobster larvae

  • Rizal Harahap

    The Jakarta Post

Pekanbaru, Riau   /   Tue, March 6, 2018   /   04:22 pm
Police thwart attempted smuggling of Rp 1.28b in lobster larvae Jakarta Police officers inspect containers of lobster eggs, locally known as 'benur', at a Tangerang warehouse complex in this Sept.15, 2016 file photo. (Antara/Lucky R.)

The Indragiri Hilir Water Police in Riau province have foiled the attempted smuggling of lobster larvae, worth more than Rp 1.28 billion (US$93,000), into Singapore.

The lobster larvae were confiscated from an unnamed boat as it sailed on the Indragiri River near Bantalan village in Tembilahan district, Indragiri Hilir Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Christian Rony Putra said on Tuesday.

“The arrest was based on a tip-off from the public over suspicions of lobster larvae smuggling. The water police on patrol responded immediately to check the information,” he said.

Police officers stopped the boat and arrested the captain, a 47-year-old local resident identified as Ar. Upon searching the boat, the police discovered eight styrofoam boxes containing around 16,000 lobster seeds.

Lobster seeds are the early developmental stages of lobster larvae.

Ar told police that he was paid to deliver the shipment to a larger vessel that was waiting for him in an illegal port on an estuary of the Indragiri River.

Following up on Ar's information, police located the vessel, Christian said. Five members of the crew, ML, 25, Jep, 47, Syah, 39, IA, 43 and Mas, 41, were apprehended by the police on charges of attempting to smuggle the larvae overseas through Batam, Riau Islands province.

“They planned to sell the lobster seeds in Singapore. Their role was to deliver [the shipment],...,” Christian said, stressing that the crew did not organize the smuggling operation. He added that the larvae originally came from Jambi.

Police have named the six men as suspects and are charging them under the 2009 Fisheries Law, which carries a maximum six-year sentence.