Badung, Bali (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KKP) reviewed travel routes at I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport, Bali, to monitor the potential for clear lobster seeds (BBL) smuggling via air route.

The ministry's Director General of Marine Resources and Fisheries Supervision, Adin Nurawaluddin, remarked on Thursday that the activity encompassed a series of joint operations with related authorities in response to indications of BBL smuggling via air and sea routes.

He noted that in air routes, smugglers usually employed two methods, namely using couriers or special agents via cargo.

"Air smuggling is known as cooperman. They use suitcases filled with wet cotton to store the BBL and send it to Batam and then to Singapore to be repackaged and brought to Vietnam," Nurawaluddin explained.

Hence, Nurawaluddin said his side is monitoring the passenger entry flow, starting from x-ray detection that will spot dubious objects in passengers' bags that will then be followed by a second detection before passengers enter the waiting room.

"The officers monitoring the x-rays had been certified. They can distinguish between plants, clothing, and BBL. The color is kind of yellowish brown. Suitcases containing suspected BBL will be opened. If it is confirmed, then action will be taken against the passengers," he explained.

Nurawaluddin noted that his side was aware of this smuggling indication since a long time and had taken preemptive steps by securing BBL couriers at I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport, Soekarno Hatta Airport, Juanda Airport, and Lombok Airport.

"The demand for the lobster cultivation industry in Vietnam, according to the perpetrator's confession, is 600 million BBL. They generate an export value of approximately US$3 billion, while Vietnam does not have BBL," Nurawaluddin revealed.

Related news: Bakamla thwarts smuggling of lobster seeds worth Rp19 billion

Vietnam also admitted that all the BBL it received came from Indonesia, thereby indicating that the entire delivery of BBL was illegal, as Indonesia prohibits BBL exports.

Vietnam's high demand for BBL also causes huge losses in Indonesia's non-tax state revenue (PNBP).

Based on his calculation, if one lobster seed is valued at Rp5 thousand, it means that around Rp3 trillion has been lost, especially if in certain seasons, one lobster can be valued at up to Rp50 thousand.

Earlier, within a year, the ministry recorded that 1.6 million BBL had been secured from smuggling attempts, with the value amounting to Rp160 billion. This joint operation is expected to stop the attempt of BBL smuggling, Nurawaluddin stated.

Apart from being prone to the BBL smuggling practice, he noted that Bali has potential in terms of the abundance of lobsters at sea.

Other areas with an influx of lobsters at sea are Telong Elong in West Nusa Tenggara, south Bali, Banyuwangi, Prigi, Pangandaran, Sukabumi, Lampung, and Bengkulu.

His side will also carry out blocking measures at Merak Port to prevent BBL smuggling to Batam and foreign countries.

Related news: Indonesia, Singapore collaborate to prevent smuggling of lobster seeds

Related news: KKP, Customs thwart attempt to smuggle 30,911 shrimp seeds

Translator: Ni Putu Putri M, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
Copyright © ANTARA 2023