Officials in Denpasar have thwarted an effort to smuggle protect coral rocks to Russia, as quoted from Bali Discovery.
As reported by NusaBali, the chief of the Fish Quarantine Office in Denpasar, Habrin Yake, said the smuggler of the coral was a Russian national named Zakaretski.
Quarantine officials working with Airport Security Staff (AVSEC) at Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport uncovered the smuggling attempt in the international departure terminal at 7:00 pm on Thursday evening, January 12, 2017.
Habrin said that 9 species of coral, decorative crabs and 10 species of clams were in the process of being loaded in the luggage of the Russian on a Qatar Airways flight bound for Doha and Russia.
The Russian could have faced a maximum 1.5 years in prison for attempting to smuggle protected coral and sea life out of Indonesia without the required permits and documentation.
Quarantine officials estimate the value of the coral and sea life at between Rp. 10 – 15 million.
The Russian told officials that he collected the contraband coral and sea life during a trip to Tulamben in the Regency of Karangasem and insisted he did know he was breaking the laws.
As a result of the man’s ignorance of the law, the Russian has apparently been released from detention by immigration authorities.
Quarantine official have since returned the sea life to the ocean from Serangan Island in South Bali