Wed, 27 May 2009
From: The Jakarta Post
By Fadli, THE JAKARTA POST, BATAM
Businesses are complaining about the existence of mafi a controlling the loading and unloading system at Batam seaport, Kepulauan Riau province, consequently infl icting higher costs on businesses.

Head of the Indonesian Employers Association's (Apindo) Kepulauan Riau chapter, Abidin, said Tuesday that the mafi a involved the owner of a particular shipping company with accomplices within government institutions.

Abidin said that the shipping company practiced a monopolistic system and set rates twice as high as those of other companies.

"Certain individuals *are authorized to* determine queue numbers of moored vessels," he told The Jakarta Post, "Only one *shipping* company has a special *express* lane, and the lane rates are too expensive for us. We're asking for this to be curbed."

Furthermore, business peoplewho wanted to have their goods unloaded immediately must use services provided by this shipping company, Abidin added.

He, however, did not disclose the company's name.

Abidin said, on behalf of businesspeople, the port authority should implement the principle that the fi rst vessel to arrive should be serviced fi rst.

"Businesspeople need to have their goods delivered to their destinations immediately. Don't make *businesspeople* as an object *for making fast money*," he said.

Batam Freight Forwarding Companies Association chairman Daniel Burhanuddin admitted that illegal practices had been taking over in the port in respect of the loading and unloading of moored vessels.

He also pointed to the Batam Port Offi ce and the Batam free trade zone management body (BPK-FTZ Batam) as the authorities responsible for port supervision.

"All the time, owners of retail products have to fi ght for prompt deliveries" said Dainel.

Head of the BPK-FTZ Batam's public affairs division, Dwi Djoko Wiwoho, said every vessel must obtain permits for mooring, as well as for loading and unloading, from the Batam Port Offi ce.

The Excise and Customs Offi ce would also issue licenses for loading and unloading goods on land, he said.

"*Therefore* we don't know who is to blame *regarding the existence of mafi a in the port*. *Because* all this time, all loading and unloading at the port follows existing procedures," said Djoko.



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