Aceh customs officers foil smuggling of onions from Thailand

Banda Aceh, Aceh (ANTARA News) - Aceh Customs officers raided an Indonesian-flagged ship and seized packs of onion and other imported goods that were allegedly being smuggled from Thailand, an official stated here, Friday.

Agus Yulianto, head of the Aceh Customs Office, noted that the raid took place at 1:24 a.m. local time, Wednesday (Mar 14), in the Aceh Tamiang waters.

"Our officers on patrol aboard the BC 2004 vessel intercepted the Indonesian-flagged KM Tuna I ship in the Aceh Tamiang waters and later confiscated packs of illegal goods, which were allegedly smuggled from Thailand," Yulianto noted.

The seized illegal goods comprised 950 packs of red onions, 190 packs of coconuts, 175 seeds of dates, 26 roosters, 70 packs of vitamins for poultry, 75 packs of tea, and two packs of fertilizers.

Yulianto remarked that the imported goods were valued at Rp1.028 billion, and if the products had entered the market, the country would have suffered economic losses worth Rp231.435 million.

He noted that the raid was conducted after receiving an intelligence tip-off.

During the raid, the smugglers vessel had sought to flee, but it was later stopped by the officers ship.

During checking, the captain, 40, with the initials UH, along with his four crew members had failed to show the permits and other documents.

"Apart from the customs clearance, they also failed to show the permit from the agriculture and trade ministries. All imported goods have now been secured by the Aceh Customs Office, while the ship is currently docked at our base in Belawan," Yulianto stressed.

On charges of smuggling, the captain and crew members will face 10 years imprisonment and will have to pay a minimum fine of Rp50 million to a maximum of Rp5 billion.

"With these charges, we hope traders would stop smuggling goods from overseas, as we need to protect our people and their local products," he emphasized.

Source: ANTARA News

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