"About 324 bottles of contraband alcohol were seized by members in Sungai Pensiangan, Labang Village, Lumbis Ogong District, Nunukan Regency, North Kalimantan," Chief of Information for the 091 / ASN Military, Captain Arh Asrul Aziz, stated in Samarinda on Monday.
The incident happened as members of the Labang SSK IV Post in the Indonesian-Malaysian Task Force Raider Battalion 613 / Raja Alam were guarding the post on Nov 30.
At around 3:00 a.m., the Ketinting boat was seen from a distance of 80 meters, without an engine and with one passenger, crossing the river without lighting.
On suspicion, the members gave a flashlight signal and ordered the Ketinting boat driver to stop in front of the post.
But the order was ignored and the driver of the boat chose to escape by jumping into the Pensiangan River. The boat was washed away and eventually ran aground in the river delta.
The members then reported the incident to the SSK IV Commander Captain Inf Handoko and the Labang Post Commander. Two members of the post were ordered to swim across to the river delta to seize the boat that ran aground.
About 30 minutes later, the boat was successfully towed to the edge near Labang Post. Based on the results of the inspection, there were 13 boxes containing 324 bottles of alcohol of various brands without documents.
The commander of the Indonesian-Malaysian Pamtas Task Force Raider Battalion 613 / Raja Alam, Lt. Col. Inf Fardin Wardhana revealed that the perpetrators who escaped wanted to allegedly smuggle alcohol from Malaysia to Indonesia by utilizing river routes that crossed the border.
The perpetrators tried to use the early hours to trick officers at the border. Next, the SSK Commander IV handed over the alcoholic drinks to the Lumbis Sector Police for further investigation.
"There has been a rise in cases of alcohol smuggling at the border. We hope the public can cooperate by reporting anything suspicious to officers, so that we can jointly combat the alcohol smuggling in future," Wardhana remarked.
He added that until now, the Indonesian-Malaysian Pamtas Task Force Raider Battalion 613 / Raja Alam had succeeded in securing 1,605 bottles of illegal alcoholic drinks during a 3.5-month assignment.
Reporting by M. Ghofar, Eliswan Azly
Editing by Andi Abdusssalam