IRIAN CUSTOMS IMPOUNDS ILLEGAL CAR IMPORTS FROM JAPAN

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JAKARTA, Indonesia (March 3, 2001 – Indonesian Observer)---The Jayapura Customs Office in Irian Jaya yesterday confiscated almost 500 used cars imported from Japan.

Customs officials said the cars lack inspection certificates from the state-owned surveyor company PT Sucofindo.

Most of the cars are Toyota, Honda and Mitsubishi models that are sold for Rp30 million to Rp75 million (US$ 3,055 to US$ 7,638).

Customs Office Chief Eddy Nazaruddin said the cars will become the property of the local government if the owners - PT Siola and the Japan-based Nakano Corporation - do not produce the necessary documents by mid-March.

The cars would later be sold at auction.

A Nakano spokesperson denied there are problems with the documentation.

Irian is not the only import used car center here.

Batam also imports hundreds of used cars from Singapore.

Most are sold at around Rp20 million (US$ 2,037) throughout mainland Sumatra and Riau.

Other vehicles are frequently smuggled into Indonesia.

KABAR-IRIAN ("Irian News") Websites: http://www.irja.org/index2.shtml and http://www.kabar-irian.com 

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