Indonesia houses 1,558 illegal migrants
The Jakarta Post
24 May 2001
JAKARTA (JP): A total of 1,558 foreigners illegally have entered Indonesia since early last year in hopes of reaching a third country, an official said on Wednesday.
Director of Immigration M. Mudakir said the illegal immigrants were from Iraq, Iran, India, Sri Lanka, Palestine, Somalia and Bahrain.
"Most of them failed to show their travel documents to immigration officers," he said.
According to Mudakir, the foreigners landed illegally here to seek entry into another country, while claiming refugee status from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and asking the commission to relocate them to a third country.
Not only did they make serious problems for immigration authorities, they could have potentially upset the nation's stability, he said.
The last case involved 92 Iraqis who were found stranded on the North Sumatra sea. In Makassar, South Sulawesi, 135 Pakistani, Iraqi and Afghans were arrested when they were about to leave for Australia under the arrangement of an international syndicate, he said.
The others were held by immigration authorities in Sibolga,Tanjung Balai Karimun and Medan in North Sumatra and Malang in East Java.
In Bogor, 193 Iranians were arrested in Garut, West Java, in September last year, he said, adding that those migrants had been under the commission's responsibility.
Mudakir said the UNHCR had granted refugee status to 420 illegal migrants in Indonesia, but only one had been sent on to a third country.
He added that on Tuesday two Pakistanis, one Sri Lankan and one Chinese national were arrested for immigration violations during a raid in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta.