Captain Siva Kumar from the Tawau maritime authorities was quoted as saying by ANTARA here on Thursday that the 57-year-old Indonesian tried to smuggle the mud crabs into Tawau in the Malaysian state of Sabah aboard a boat.
However, the Malaysian authorities were able to intercept the boat in the Tanjung Saima waters of Tawau on early Tuesday at around 2:35 a.m. local time, he stated, adding that the suspect was unable to present valid documents for transporting the mud crabs to the authorities.
Kumar confirmed that the mud crabs, packaged into 37 boxes, and three jerry cans of diesel fuel were seized. The average retail price for those mud crabs in Tawau was estimated at 16 thousand Malaysian ringgit.
Kumar did not disclose the identity of the Indonesian allegedly smuggling the mud crabs into Tawau.
ANTARA noted that due to the huge profits from trading Indonesia's marine products, including crabs and lobsters, the culprits have frequently attempted to smuggle them into other countries.
In September 2019, for instance, the Bali provincial police had also thwarted an attempt to smuggle some 60 thousand larvae of pearl and sand lobsters to Vietnam and arrested two suspects.
The suspects were identified by their initials as ERA, 26, and ATH, 35, Chief of the Bali Marine Police Force Sen. Coms. Hadi Purnomo revealed in September.
The suspects procured the larvae of the pearl and sand lobsters from West Nusa Tenggara Province to be transported to Vietnam. However, the larvae package was not declared at the Customs in the Ngurah Rai International Airport to Vietnam via Singapore.
The total financial losses that Indonesia could have suffered had the 36 thousand larvae of sand lobsters been smuggled was estimated at Rp9 billion while the smuggling of 24 thousand larvae of pearl lobsters could cause financial losses of up to Rp7.2 billion.
In May, the Indonesian police investigators had grilled Kong Huping, a Chinese citizen, after he was apprehended for attempting to smuggle several hundred thousand baby lobsters from Jambi Province's waters to Batam Island and Singapore.
Director of Marine Police of the Jambi Provincial Police Senior Commissioner Fauzi Bakti stated that the baby lobsters were to be smuggled by Kong Huping through the Jambi-Batam waters on May 13-14 and were estimated to be valued at Rp40 billion.
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