Lawmaker Azam Azman, of the House of Representatives (DPR)`s Commission VI on trade affairs, said here on Thursday that PT PPI intended to store the imported raw sugar at refined sugar firms in bounded areas in Cilegon (Banten) and Cilacap (Central Java) in order to avoid paying import duties.
He said the customs officials seized the raw sugar of PT PPI at Ciwandan port in Banten and Makassar port in South Sulawesi because the company did not have proper documents for sugar imports and had not paid import duties.
Based on procedures, PPI must pay import duties when importing sugar. When the sugar was unloaded, officials found that there were no documents providing information about the distribution of the goods.
"So, it is reasonable for the customs officials to detain the raw sugar imports," Azam stated.
He explained that there had been many cases in which imported sugar was exempted from import duties, but PPI`s sugar was not and it seemed as if the company was not willing to follow suit either.
"The customs officials could not be cheated. They seized the sugar, which was estimated to be worth Rp600 billion," Azam said.
Besides, he added, the confiscation of was also due to the fact that PPI still owed the Customs Excise Office Rp30 billion for its imports of alcoholic drinks during the 2002-05 period.
Because no settlement has been made yet, the Rp30 billion, with interest added, has now swollen to Rp85 billion.