Sat, 02 Dec 2000

Electronic goods smuggling attempt foiled by customs

JAKARTA (JP): Customs and Excise officials foiled an attempt on Thursday to smuggle eight containers of electronic goods through Tanjung Priok seaport in North Jakarta.

The electronic goods, ranging from televisions to telephone devices, were transported in eight containers onboard the Singaporian ship, Uslan. The goods were packed in hundreds of boxes with "Compaq" computer labels.

Head of the Tanjung Priok Customs and Excise Office Roy Ronald Limo said the ship arrived from Singapore on Wednesday.

"One of our officials became suspicious when he found the volume of goods on the shipping manifest was different from the actual volume.

"The documents said the ship carried computer devices, but there were various kinds of electronic goods inside the boxes other than computers," he told reporters at the seaport.

Roy said the officials are now searching for the companies responsible for sending the contraband.

"The state would have suffered losses of approximately Rp 1 billion (US$105,797) due to the manipulation of the documents," he said, without elaborating.

Separately, Yanto, a trader at Orion Plaza in Glodok told Antara: "For the last several weeks, the demand for electronic goods has decreased."

The trader said electronic goods were a second preference since people's first priority was buying prime merchandise such as furniture.

As a result of weak demand, the prices of electronic goods has remained steady in the capital for several weeks.

The price of a Toshiba Bomba Quatro 21 inch television is Rp 1,750,000 each, and the Toshiba 14 inch television is sold for Rp 925,000.

Polytron 29 inch television is sold for Rp 3,650,000, and Polytron Mega Power mini compo is sold for Rp 575,000. (asa)