Whisnu Bagus Prasetyo, Jakarta – An Indonesian migrant worker in Hong Kong took to social media to express her frustration after a gift of underwear worth HK$99 ($12.5) that she sent to her family in Indonesia was charged an exorbitant Rp 800,000 ($51) in customs duty.
The worker's video quickly went viral, prompting a response from a Finance Ministry official who acknowledged a "miscalculation" by the postal service company, citing confusion between Hong Kong and American dollars.
Yustinus Prastowo, a senior advisor for the finance minister, said that the error occurred because a Pos Indonesia employee miscalculated the price in U.S. dollars, which is approximately seven times the value of the Hong Kong dollar.
"The package containing underwear should have been treated in the 'green lane,' meaning it wouldn't require customs clearance," Yustinus wrote on the social media platform X on Friday.
According to Yustinus, the issue has been resolved through discussions between the customs office at Juanda Airport in Surabaya and the state-run postal company, Pos Indonesia, along with the migrant worker, identified as Yuni.
Customs officials advised Yuni, who frequently sends gifts to her family in Indonesia, to be more specific about the currency used in the transaction to avoid misunderstandings, Yustinus added.
Yuni, who works as a domestic servant in Hong Kong, earlier posted a video to express her frustration at having to pay customs duties four times the value of the underwear she had sent to her hometown in Banyuwangi, Indonesia. Yuni also said that she had sought an explanation from customs officials but didn't receive a response.