Jakarta. Indonesia's Directorate General of Customs and Excise has seized 874 bales of clothes worth Rp 2.6 billion, or around $180,000, from six trucks traveling on a toll road to Bandung, West Java.
Customs director-general Heru Pambudi said the trucks were stopped on Kilometer 45 of the Jakarta-Cikampek toll road because the drivers did not carry the appropriate documents.
"The trucks departed from Medan on March 6 and were en route to Bandung. We're still trying to find the owner. The clothes were allegedly imported from countries that have four seasons," Heru said in Jakarta on Wednesday.
According to Heru, the clothes were hidden inside the trucks with other goods, pressed into bales each containing 500 to 1000 pieces of clothing.
Most had price tags to make them appear new and some were second-hand.
The clothes were reportedly bound for sellers at traditional markets and factory outlets.
"[Illegal clothing import] interferes with the national economy, especially the local garment industry," Heru said.
The Customs officers also seized 118 tire sets worth Rp 236 million and 57 rolls of carpet worth Rp 68.4 million from the trucks.
The director-general said the bust was also part of an operation to find methamphetamine smuggled inside bales of clothes just like the ones found inside the trucks.
According to him, Customs has already discovered 146 cases of illegal textile import until March this year.