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Mercy, Mercy . . . Cross the Ferry

Police and Custom Officials Seize Large Illegal Booze Haul on Java to Bali Ferry Crossing.

(12/13/2010) Police and Customs officials in Banyuwangi, East Java have thwarted an attempt to smuggle in thousands of bottles of domestically produced alcohol into Bali via the Java to Bali ferry crossing on Saturday, December 11, 2010.

A box-truck bearing Jakarta registration plates was discovered carrying 4,300 bottles of domestically produced liquor with an alcohol content ranging between 19-40%. Packed into 413 cartons, police determined that only 50 of the cartons contained beverages bearing the mandatory customs and excise stamps. The remaining bottles, covering 14 different brands of beverages, lacked duty stamps valued from Rp. 10,000 (US$1.10) to Rp. 75,000 (US$8.40).

The shipping manifest for the truck listed the merchandise as "white printing ink" shipped by a Jakarta company PT Sejadi and destined for PT Putra Mahkota Dewata on Jalan Anggrek 18 in Jumbaran, Bali.

The driver of the truck, Winarto (31), and his assistant, Nurhadi (27), claimed no knowledge of the shipment and their potential violation of the law. Nonetheless, both men have been taken into custody by police at the Banyuwangi police precinct. Those determined to be responsible for the illegal shipment of alcohol now face the possibility of fines and imprisonment.