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Jakarta Post

Lobster smuggling attempt thwarted at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Tangerang   /   Sun, March 17, 2019   /   02:31 pm
Lobster smuggling attempt thwarted at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport Officers from the Fish Quarantine and Fishery Quality Control Agency (BKIPM) show the smuggled lobster seeds. (jakarta.tribunnews.com/Ega Alfreda)

Aviation Security (Avsec) officers at Soekarno Hatta International Airport foiled the attempted smuggling of 125,619 lobster seeds, believed to be pearl and sand lobsters, which is estimated to be worth Rp 19 billion (US$1.31 million).

Rina, the head of the Fish Quarantine and Fishery Quality Control Agency (BKIPM), explained that the smuggling attempt was prevented after Avsec officers grew suspicious of four suitcases in the baggage handling area.

“The suitcases were destined for Singapore using national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia,” she said on Saturday as reported by wartakota.tribunnews.com.

When the suitcases were X-rayed, an officer found that they contained living organisms.

The officer unpacked the suitcases and found the lobster seeds inside plastic bags concealed by clothes.

Two Indonesian passengers, identified as ER and RW, are listed as the suitcases’ owners.

“When [the suitcases] passed through the X-ray machine, it looked like they were packed only with clothes. After checking them three times, [the officer] confirmed that there were indeed living organisms inside them,” Rina said.

ER and RW could not be found when the officers sought them for questioning. Police are still searching for them.

They could be charged under the 2004 Fisheries Affair Law and face a maximum of six years in prison and fines of Rp 1.5 billion if found guilty. (sau)