The suspects, only identified by their initials as AS and HN, are registered as the residents of Wanasalam Sub-district in Lebak District, Banten Province, Chief of the National Police's Traffic Division, Adjunct Sen. Coms. Denny Catur Wardhana, stated.
During routine patrolling at the Tangerang-Merak toll road, the traffic police personnel spotted a black van bearing license plate number A 1214 PM parked on a roadside at about 3 a.m. local time.
As the cops approached the vehicle, the driver and his partner, later identified as AS and HN, managed to escape by driving off from the spot. The patrol officers then chased and stopped the van.
The patrol officers conducted a thorough check of the vehicle and found 30 thousand lobster larvae packed in several boxes, Wardhana remarked, adding that police investigators are probing the case.
Indonesia's police along with related law enforcement agencies continue their crackdown on smugglers of baby lobster and lobster larvae.
The promise of huge profits has drawn people into the illegal lobster larvae trade.
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In September, 2019, two people in Bali Island were caught attempting to smuggle some 60 thousand larvae of pearl and sand lobsters to Vietnam.
The suspects, arrested at a motel in Sidakarya Village, Denpasar, were identified by their initials as ERA, 26, and ATH, 35, according to chief of the Bali Marine Police Force, Sen. Coms. Hadi Purnomo.
ERA functioned as a courier, while ATH was a financier involved in a transaction of Rp95 billion through a bank's automated teller machine, he revealed.
The suspects procured the lobster larvae from the West Nusa Tenggara province to smuggle them to Vietnam. However, the larvae package was not declared at the Customs at the Ngurah Rai International Airport, from where it was intended to be dispatched 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 have led to losses to the tune of Rp7.2 billion.
In December 2020, the Jambi police also raided a residence and seized 129,466 lobster larvae worth Rp13 billion that were to be smuggled to countries, such as Vietnam, Malaysia, and Singapore.
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