The Jakarta Post
The East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Police's maritime unit has apprehended 41 undocumented migrants, reportedly from Vietnam, on board a vessel heading to New Zealand.
The incident began on Thursday with police receiving information about a boat carrying migrants anchoring in Tablolong, Kupang regency, after running out of fuel, said NTT Police maritime division head Sr. Comr. Budi Santoso.
"We immediately brought those [41 migrants] to maritime police headquarters to record their details before handing them over to the Kupang Immigration Office for further investigation," Budi said on Friday.
Five children were among the 41 migrants aboard the vessel that had been sailing for four days after leaving from Java, according to Budi.
At the time of the incident, Budi added, the skipper, along with two crew members who are now at large, was "searching for fuel and food."
It was the first case involving undocumented Vietnamese migrants in NTT this year, Budi said.
In 2015, a boat carrying 65 undocumented migrants from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, who were heading to New Zealand, stranded in Rote Ndao in Kupang.
In August, police arrested a Myanmar national in Jakarta for his alleged involvement in a different case in NTT. The suspect had reportedly been involved in trafficking migrants, as authorities found a boat carrying 16 Indian, Nepali and Bangladeshi nationals without immigration documents stranded in Tablolong en route to the Australian territory of Christmas Island in November 2015. (ipa)