The shipping company`s Nunukan branch manager Patoh Sembiring advised the local customs office to really tighten goods inspection using x-ray equipment available in the Tunon Taka International Port to avoid mutual suspicion, here Thursday.
The advice was given after recent arrest of three people carrying methamphetamine locally known as shabu from Malaysia by officials of the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) boarding luxurious passenger ship KM Umsini, Saturday (April 10) proving that inspection on the baggage of passengers from Malaysia had not been done closely.
The arrest of drug traffickers aboard the luxurious passenger ship could tarnish and degrade the image of the state owned shipping company to be a transportation service for drug trafficking.
In fact, PT Pelni never provides rooms for passengers possessing prohibited goods, especially drugs.
Patoh suspected lax goods inspection by customs officers had been the cause of drugs entering the Nunukan region.
Earlier the Nunukan Customs and Excise Office`s spokesperson Aries Fourisa said that his personnel had checked the passengers` luggage from Malaysia via the International Port of Tunon Taka in Nunukan with the available monitoring equipment.
In fact, Nunukan customs officers have been very intense and focused in anticipating possible entry of prohibited goods such as narcotic drugs into Nunukan.
Aries said that the incident happened because checking was partly done manually but he denied that it was a deliberate action.
Regarding the arrest of three KM Umsini passengers who have allegedly entered through the Tunon Taka international port, Aries said that he did not know because customs officers did not find any suspicious goods during inspection.
In fact, he claimed he has never heard about the arrest of the KM Umsini passengers for drug smuggling.
"We never heard about it (the arrest), and what is the evidence. Indeed officers from the National Narcotics Agency have frequently come here to coordinate but their arrival was not related to drug-related arrests," said Aries.