Subject: 35 bags of MTCI rice Illegally Entered Atambua
(Translation Tetum to English)
Dili, 6 April 2009
35 bags of MTCI rice Illegally Entered Atambua
Dili- Unidentified persons illegally exported 35 bags of rice in bags marked with the Ministry of Tourism, Commerce and Industry (MTCI) logo to Atambua, Kupang, Indonesia.
According to the MTCI Inspector General Epifanio Faculto, he has information that 35 bags of MTCI rice was taken illegally into Atambua.
Based on this information, he said that today the MTCI would be undertaking inspections in Atambua to directly ascertain how much rice was taken out.
"We received a telephone call from someone saying that some people have sent rice (MTCI rice) to Atambua, and tomorrow (in fact today) we will go directly to Atambua to find out exactly who sent the rice there," Faculto informed journalists at a Coffee Conference he was attending at the Hotel Timor yesterday.
He added that when they have identified persons involved (from Timor-Leste) he would hand the case over to the police for investigation.
He appealed to all traders not to take MTCI rice out of the country because this rice has to be traded inside Timor-Leste.
"This (rice taken to Atambua) can impact negatively on our national consumers, and because of this we will be making efforts to solve all of these problems," said Faculto.
He said that as well as the inspection he would be undertaking in Atambua, he would also bee looking to coordinate with the authorities in Atambua to ensure better cooperation between them to prevent this recurring in the future.
"We will seek to strengthen our cooperation with the (TL) border police and the Indonesian security apparatus so as that in future we can have in place a sound system for controlling and preventing illegal exit and entry of goods from T-L into Indonesia," he followed up. ----ENDS
STL daily newspaper reported on the same day that Five Timorese nationals have been detained by the Police of the Republic of Indonesia near Atapupu, district of Belu, Nusa Tengara Timor, Indonesia, relating to the illegal importation of 27 bags of MTCI rice into Indonesia.