Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Customs office in cooperation with the Quarantine Agency of the agriculture ministry has foiled an attempt to smuggle into the country 1.4 tons of beef from Australia via Jakarta`s Tanjung Priok port.

When making an inspection to the port on Tuesday, Customs and Excise Director General Agung Kuswandono and head of the Quarantine Agency Banun Haripini found 1.4 tons of beef packed in boxes and cartons supposedly to contain other foodstuff.

"The boxes and cartons are supposed to contain fish and other food stuff but it turned out to be 1.4 tons of beef from Australia," Banun Harpini.

Banun said the commodity was imported by PT Sinar Terang Utama to be put in the warehouse of PT Indoguna Utama, which is in the center of high profile graft case over illegal import of beef.

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) arrested two senior executives of PT Indoguna on charge of attempting to bribe a law maker President of the Islamic Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) Luthfi Hasan Ishaaq , who was also arrested later.

Indoguna was allegedly seeking to bribe the PKS leader into leading all other PKS lawmakers to approve more imports of beef.

The government has restricted imports of beef with quota system.

"This is primary quality beef, the most expensive at steak restaurants.It was to be sent to the warehouse of PT Indoguna," Banun said.

Agung Kuswandono said the Customs officials believed the goods had been packed in Singapore as the containers came from that country.

Agung said PT Sinar Terang Utama had violated a customs law, adding it is facing a maximum jail term of 10 years with a maximum fine of Rp5 billion. (ASG/A014)

Editor: Kunto Wibisono
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