US Army weapons container held by Lampung Customs Office
Bandar Lampung. The customs and excise office detained a container of weapons believed to belong to the US military in Lampung province, a port official said on Sunday.
There are no indications of attempted smuggling – the weapons were sent as part of a joint military exercise between the United States and the Indonesian armed forces, said Frans Rahardian, spokesman for the operator of the Pelindo public seaport.
However, problems arise because the container was not included in the shipping manifest, prompting the customs office to seal it on Friday.
“When the particular cargo was sent from America, it was not mentioned in the ship’s manifest,” he told reporters at Panjang Port in the provincial capital of Bandar Lampung.
Frans said the weapons belong to the US military and will be used in the annual joint exercise codenamed Garuda Shield.
Customs officers checked the shipment on Saturday evening, he added.
“I must emphasize that this is not a contraband shipment. However, lack of proper documentation may result in a return to America,” Frans said.
Local military command spokesperson Major Eva Kamal confirmed that the weapons will be used at Garuda Shield.
“All of these items are delivered for joint exercise Garuda Shield and we will definitely check all the items,” Eva said.
Earlier Thursday, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Dudung Abdurachman met with US military attaché Col. Theodore Leo Liebreich to discuss the Garuda shield. It has been agreed that Garuda Shield will be conducted in Amborawang, East Kalimantan, and Baturaja, South Sumatra.