Quarantine office, police seize fruits, potatoes imported from Malaysia

Jakarta, (Antara) – The Quarantine Office and Police here on Wednesday seized one thousand kilograms of fruits and 300 kilograms of potatoes imported illegally from the neighboring country, Malaysia.

Some 1,053 kilograms of fresh fruits were seized by the Tarakan Wilker Quarantine Office in the outermost areas of Sebatik Island, North Kalimantan province, after the importer failed to show the permit and the “phytosanitary certificate” from the Malaysian authority.

“Following a tipoff from the people on the illegal import of Malaysias fresh fruits into our country, we directly raided Lalosalo port in North Sebatik subdistrict,” Banun Harpini, the Agriculture Ministrys head of quarantine office, noted in her written statement received by Antara in Jakarta on Wednesday.

The Sebatik quarantine officers found some people moving the fruits from a long boat to a pickup truck. During the probe, the quarantine officers found 12 types of fresh fruits, including apples, oranges, pears, grapes, longans, and papayas.

The officers seized the imported fruits, in accordance with the Law No.16 year 1992 on Quarantine of Animals, Fish, and Plants, along with the Agriculture Ministers Regulation No.42 Year 2012 on Quarantine Measures of Fresh Fruits Distribution to Indonesia, as well as the Ministers Regulation No.55 Year 2016 on Supervision of Fresh Food Distribution to Indonesia.

Harpini noted that the quarantine office has stepped up its efforts to crack down the smuggling of some strategic commodities, such as rice, corn, sugar, onions, spices, and meats.

Some smuggling-prone areas include the east coastline of Sumatra Island, and the border areas of Kalimantan, Papua, and East Nusa Tenggara provinces.

Meanwhile, the West Kalimantan Police also foiled the smuggling of 300 kilograms of potatoes from Malaysia during the search in Flamboyan market, Pontianak.

The police arrested a suspect, with initial Su, with 30 sacks of potatoes, Police Sen. Comm. Mahyudi Nazriansyah, the director of special crime unit said in the West Kalimantans capital city, Pontianak, remarked on Wednesday.

Nazriansyah explained that the suspect was captured when he was distributing the illegal potatoes to some dealers at the market on Tuesday night.

“The potatoes were purchased at the Entikong border regions, Sanggau district,” he revealed, adding that the suspect would be charged under the article 31 of the Law No.16 Year 1992 on the Quarantine of Animals, Fishes, and Plants.

Before the capture, the Chief of West Kalimantan Police, Brig.Gen. Pol. Didi Haryono has targeted “zero” illegal trade in the province.

Hence, Haryono called on the people to stay alert and follow the countrys regulation before purchasing products from the dealers.

On a different occasion, the quarantine office chairwoman, Harpini, revealed that the illegal trade of fruits and other products would threaten the nations food security.

The illegal foods would also serve as a new instrument of bio-terrorism, which could hurt the food safety in Indonesia, she emphasized.

Source: ANTARA News