TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Rina, Chief of the Fish Quarantine, Quality Control and Fisheries Products Agency (Agency) said that the Tanjung Priok port customs officials have successfully thwarted illegal fish export with a total value of Rp 55.7 billion in the August 2015-April 2016 period.
Rina said that one of the illegal attempts spoiled by customs officials was an illegal export of 2.5 tons of fish maw. "Fish maw has become a prime commodity that has high demand," Rina said in a press conference on Tuesday, May 17, 2016.
Rina said that she was first aware of fish maw's economic value during a work visit to Papua, where she finds out that one kilogram of fish maw worth Rp 60 million. "If we don't spoil the smuggling attempt, it would have caused massive state losses," Rina said.
In addition, Riza Priyatna, Chief of Fish Bio-Security Quarantine of the Agency said that fish maw gained popularity because it can cure heart diseases.
Riza added that currently, the Agency is conducting an investigation towards the smuggling attempt and will conduct examination on several suspected exporters.
"We hope the case files can be completed shortly, and the case can be brought to court," Riza said while adding that exporters proven to be involved in the crime will have its business license revoked.