RI customs foil attempt to smuggle out 23,000 dried seahorses
Tangerang (ANTARA News) - Indonesian customs and excise officers at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport have foiled an attempt to smuggle around 23,000 dried seahorses (hyppocampus) to South Korea.
The merchandise, packaged in six bales, was sent by a company identified as `CV AL` and destined for an address in South Korea, Eko Darmanto, an officer of the airport`s customs and excise office said here on Monday.
Customs and excise officers stopped the cargo from being loaded onto an airplane bound for South Korea because certain species of seahorses, including those to be transported to Korea, were protected by Indonesian law, he said.
Wild seahorses are caught from the wild each year to supply the traditional Chinese medicine market. People in Asia have been using seahorses for thousands of years as a cure for a variety of ailments. Major sources include the Philippines, Indonesia and India. Wild populations of seahorses used in traditional medicine are under threat due to the extremely high demand. Seahorses are used to cure among other things impotence, urinary incontinence, wheezing and old age debilitation. (*)