Singaporean among 4 arrested by Indonesian police for suspected smuggling of lobster larvae worth $1.6m

Members of the Indonesian Police address media after thwarting an attempt at smuggling lobster larvae, with the four suspected smugglers (in orange), at a press conference on July 11, 2019.
Members of the Indonesian Police address media after thwarting an attempt at smuggling lobster larvae, with the four suspected smugglers (in orange), at a press conference on July 11, 2019.PHOTO: INDONESIAN POLICE PUBLIC RELATIONS / FACEBOOK

Four suspected smugglers, including a 29-year-old Singaporean, were arrested by Indonesian police on July 3 for attempting to smuggle 113,412 lobster larvae from Indonesia to Vietnam through Singapore.

The four men, who are suspected members of a syndicate, were arrested separately in Jambi and Batam in Riau Islands, according to Indonesian media reports.

A Facebook post by the Indonesian police public relations division on Friday (July 12) estimated the smuggled lobster larvae to be worth 17 billion rupiah (S$1,650,139).

Indonesian media reported that local authorities received information on July 1 of the lobster larvae being smuggled from Bengkulu to Batam through Jambi, and then onwards to Singapore.

The next day investigators from the police's Criminal Investigation Department headed to Jambi and together with Jambi's fish quarantine and quality control agency observed the route to be passed by the smugglers. They arrested two of the suspects, aged 44 and 50, on July 3.

The police also seized two minibuses driven by the suspects, from which the lobster larvae were recovered.

The two suspects were taken to the Jambi precinct police headquarters and further investigations led to the arrest of the other two suspects, including the 29-year-old Singaporean.

The Singaporean suspect is believed to be a buyer of the lobster larvae, while the three others allegedly acted as the middlemen.

 

According to the reports, the suspects may be liable to six years in prison and a fine of up to 1.5 billion rupiah (S$145,600.50) if convicted.