Riau Islands marine and fisheries office has confirmed that two fishermen from the province were still detained in Malaysia, a week after they were arrested for illegal entry.
The lobster seeds would be sent to Singapore from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten.
Traditional fishermen decided to force the five fishing vessels to leave the waters because they used trawl nets.
Customs and Excise Blocks Shipment of 71,150 Lobster Seeds
Acting inspector at the office Tri Budi Utomo confirmed that the lobster seeds were bound to be shipped through Tanjung Api-Api Port in Palembang, South Sumatra.
“The transport of lobster seeds that we blocked was supposed to be done through Tanjung Api-Api,” Utomo said on Sunday, July 31, as reported by Antara.
According to him, the smuggling prevention was initially based on information from the Western Sumatra Customs and Excise Office about alleged land transport of lobster seeds that was heading to the territory of Eastern Sumatra’s office.
The office immediately started communication with South Sumatra Police and Palembang quarantine office to stop the smuggling effort at the exit of Keramasan toll road on Saturday.
“And at 4.40 p.m., we stopped a suspicious gray Kijang Innova minibus with dark tinted windows that were shut. And inside [the vehicle], we found 15 styrofoam boxes,” Utomo explained.
The boxes and the driver were taken to the office’s headquarters in Palembang, and officers found 357 plastic packages inside the boxes that contained 71,150 seeds of pearl and sand lobsters.
Utomo revealed that the potential country’s loss from the smuggling could reach up to Rp 7.3 billion.
The police continued to investigate the driver, along with seized evidences, to learn the destination and origin of the lobster seeds.
Perpetrator could be charge with fisheries crime and could face up to eight-year imprisonment and fine of Rp 1.5 billion.