Kupang police hold 190 illegal immigrants
BBC Worldwide Monitoring
6 September 2001

Source: Excerpt from report by Indonesian Satunet news web site on 6 September

Indonesia: Kupang police hold 190 illegal immigrants bound for Australia

The Kupang police are still holding 190 illegal immigrants from Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran arrested on Sumba and Rote islands last July as they were about to cross to Australia.

Kupang Police Chief Williardi Wizar said in Kupang yesterday that they were for now being held at the Kupang police station and at the Hotel Ti'imau Penfui.

He added that on 11 September, 29 of the illegal immigrants would be transferred from the police station to Cisarua, Bogor, West Java, near Jakarta under an agreement with the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

He could not say when the remaining 114 detainees would be moved from the hotel to Cisarua, the designated site for accommodating the illegal immigrants, pending further discussions with the IOM.

"Everything related to these illegal immigrants is entirely the responsibility of the IOM, including the cost of feeding and accommodating them. All we (police) do is to guard them and ensure security," said Wizar.

Meanwhile, the NTT East Nusa Tenggara regional assembly (DPRD) is pressing the police chief to immediately evacuate the illegal immigrants from Kupang, as their presence was having a negative impact on the local populace. The DPRD maintained that illegal immigrants should be detained at Immigration Detention facilities, as they had in fact breached the Immigration Law ...

The NTT DPRD regarded the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Indonesian Police and the Australian Federal Police to cooperate in investigating and detaining the main players behind the people- smuggling as invalid, as the MoU did not involve the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Department, whereas it was a document signed in the context of building international cooperation.

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