Police Net 4,000 Black Market Phones in West Nusa Tenggara
Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara. Authorities in Mataram have seized more than 4,000 cellphones allegedly smuggled into the country on the orders of an official from a major phone distributor.
Brig. Gen. Muchammad Iriawan, the provincial police chief, said on Thursday that the phones arrived as part of the cargo of a Silk Air flight that landed on Monday night, but were not held up at the time by customs officials.
The customs office then informed the police about the cargo, and officers tracking it down arrested three suspects at Mataram Mall. The phones, individually wrapped in plastic and packed into seven suitcases, six rucksacks and six duffel bags, were found in the suspects’ cars in the parking lot of the shopping center.
“In all, there were 4,428 cellphones of various models, including BlackBerrys and iPhones,” Muchammad said.
“We’ve checked the IMEI numbers and all of them are original items.”
He added that one of the suspects, identified only as R.Z., attempted to bribe the officers when arrested.
R.Z. later admitted to having arranged for the phones to be brought over from Singapore to Mataram, from where he said the two other suspects, H. and S., were supposed to take them to Jakarta.
Muchammad said police were now investigating the claim that the individual who had paid for the phones and ordered them smuggled in was a director at Wisma Inkopad Indonesia, a major phone distributor that sells the gadgets to retailers and through its website, wiishop.co.id. WII officials could not be reached for comment.
The three suspects in Mataram face customs evasion charges that carry a maximum prison sentence of five years.