17 illegal immigrants apprehended in E. Nusa Tenggara
Rote Ndao Police in East Nusa Tenggara have arrested 17 illegal immigrants from Pakistan, Iran and Myanmar who were stranded on the southern part of Rote Island.
“Waves in the Timor Sea reached four meters. Their motorboat’s engine broke down while they were en route to Australia. They were saved by local fishermen,” Rote Ndao Police chief Sr. Adj. Comr. Hidayat said Thursday.
He said three of the 17 immigrants were children. “One of them is a 3-year-old toddler,” he said.
They were detained at the police’s detention center while undergoing questioning.
“Immigration officers will pick them up and take them to Kupang, West Nusa Tenggara, if the weather is good,” Hidayat said.
A source from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said the immigrants escaped from the Kendari immigration center in Southeast Sulawesi.
“They escaped in April and tried to continue their journey on a rented motorboat to Australia,” the source said.
Last week, one of 52 illegal immigrants who escaped from Manado immigration center in North Sulawesi was apprehended in Wonokaka waters in West Sumba, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). (iwa)