S’porean held for smuggling lobster larvae

Busted: Indonesian police officers speaking to the media after the lobster larvae bust with the four suspected smugglers (in orange) in Jakarta. — The Straits Times/Asia News Network

JAKARTA: Four suspected smugglers, including a 29-year-old Singaporean, were arrested by Indonesian police on July 3 for attempting to smuggle 113,412 lobster larvae from Indonesia to Vietnam through Singapore.

The four men, who are suspected members of a syndicate, were arrested separately in Jambi and Batam in Riau Islands, according to Indonesian media reports.

A Facebook post by the Indonesian police public relations division on Friday estimated the smuggled lobster larvae to be worth 17 billion rupiah (RM5mil).

In a press conference held in a city the four suspects were shown to the media and the police in a statement said: “The authorities have been following these suspects for several weeks now and we caught them with the illegal lobster larvae in Pulau Batam.”

Indonesian media reported that local authorities received information on July 1 of the lobster larvae being smuggled from Bengkulu to Batam through Jambi, and then onwards to Singapore.

The next day, investigators from the police’s Criminal Investigation Department headed to Jambi and together with Jambi’s fish quarantine and quality control agency observed the route to be passed by the smugglers.

They arrested two of the suspects, aged 44 and 50, on July 3.

The police also seized two minibuses driven by the suspects, from which the lobster larvae were recovered.

The two suspects were taken to the Jambi precinct police headquarters and further investigations led to the arrest of the other two suspects, including the 29-year-old Singaporean.

If convicted the suspects face at least six years in jail and almost RM50,000 in fines. — The Straits Times/Asia News Network/Agencies

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