58 asylum seekers transferred to Kupang
Paper Edition | Page: 5
Authorities have transferred 58 migrants originating from the Middle East to Kupang Immigration Detention Center in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT).
The migrants, allegedly intending to travel to Australia, were arrested at Laiwutung Beach in Kadahang village, Haharu subdistrict, East Sumba regency in June after their boat became stranded due to bad weather. They were later detained at the East Sumba Police headquarters.
Among the 58 migrants, 50 of them came from Iraq, six are from Iran, while the remaining two are from Kuwait and Syria.
“Fifty-four are male, three female, and a 4-year-old boy,” said Tato Harisasono of Kupang Immigration Office on Wednesday. He added that his institution would cooperate with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to send the migrants back to their respective countries.
Since the Kupang Immigration Detention Center is already over capacity, the officers temporarily detained the migrants in an old building, situated on Jl. Soekarno and owned by the Kupang Immigration Office.
“The capacity of our detention center is very limited as it only accommodates 60 people, while as of today, there are almost 200 people being held,” said Tato, adding that officials found it difficult to send them back to their home countries due to the absence of the migrants’ official documentation.
In the last few months, police have arrested 128 migrants in Sumba and Rote Ndao.