TEMPO.CO, Surakarta - Surveillance and Customs Service Office of Surakarta City revealed an inter-island network of illegal cigarette traders. The authorities also seized 6.6 million illegal cigarettes.
Surakarta customs office head Kunto Prasti Trenggono said his side had been handling the case since March 2019. "From the arrest of a truck transporting illegal cigarettes at Semarang toll road," he said in a press conference on Wednesday, May 15.
Based on the investigation, the customs officers found a location where millions of illegal cigarettes with various brands were stockpiled. The cigarette was produced in two cities; Malang and Jepara, before being distributed to Sukoharjo warehouse and then sent to customers in Bangka Belitung.
"We need two months to unveil this network," said Kunto. The authorities arrested four people, including the producer, owner, transporter, and customer of the illegal cigarette. Another producer is still on the run.
The customs office confiscated 6.6 million cigarettes with various brands worth Rp2.6 billion.
Customs directorate-general office head of Central Java and Yogyakarta regions, Parjiyo, said that it was the biggest case finding in 2019.
He added that the distribution of illegal cigarette often found in Central Java. However, part of the finding was produced in other provinces.
Ahmad Rafiq (Contributor)