MATARAM, KOMPAS.com – Bima City police officers are currently tracing a network of smugglers of hundreds of coral reefs revealed during a police raid activity on the public highway in Bima, West Nusa Tenggara.
Head of the Criminal Investigation Unit (Satreskrim) of the Bima City Police First Inspector M. Rayendra said his side was investigating the matter by examining a truck driver, who was caught transporting hundreds of coral reefs without a valid permit.
"We are still interrogating the driver to trace this network of coral reef smugglers," he said in a statement on Friday, Jan. 20.
Rayendra assured that the examination conducted for the truck driver, with the license plate number of the vehicle from Jakarta, was solely to gather information.
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"The driver only works for a shipping company by carrying a transport permit but not for the coral reefs," he said.
Rayendra explained that the truck was found to be transporting hundreds of coral reefs on Jan. 19 when it was crossing the public highway in the Oimbo area, East Rasanae Sub-district, Bima City.
From the inspection conducted at the location, the police found hundreds of coral reefs in 19 boxes with brown duct tape that read "Bali."
The coral reefs packed in plastic filled with water and oxygen were stored neatly in a box at the back of the truck.
Following up on these findings, the police have coordinated with the regional Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA).