Indonesian police on Sunday (11 June) foiled an attempt to smuggle more than 200,000 lobster eggs worth millions of dollars. Two men have reportedly been arrested in the case and police were interrogating them.
Police have not revealed the identities of the two suspects, who were being referred to as AM and WHY. AM has been named a suspect and is facing multiple charges, while WHY is being treated as a witness in the case, police said.
"We confiscated 208,756 lobster eggs inside eight suitcases," directorate chief Brig Gen Purwadi Arianto was quoted as telling tribunnews.com on Sunday. The state could have suffered losses worth 31.3bn Indonesian rupiah (£1.8m, $2.4m) if the smuggling attempt were successful, he added.
Police have also seized a passport, two mobile phones, 7.1m rupiah and 525 Singaporean dollars in cash, boarding passes and luggage claim tags from the two suspects who were arrested while flying to Singapore with the lobster eggs consignment.
According to police, AM was attempting to board a Garuda Indonesia flight to Singapore carrying 169,136 lobster eggs in six suitcases. Police suspect AM instructed WHY to carry the remaining lobster eggs in two other suitcases to Singapore.
WHY, however, took a different flight to reach the destination. He first took a Lion Air flight departing from Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, carrying 39,620 lobster eggs to Soekarno-Hatta, from where he was scheduled to travel to Singapore.
All but 256 of the confiscated lobster eggs have reportedly been released into Carita Beach in Banten. Those retained with police will be used as evidence in the case, Jakarta Post reported.