Bali Police Arrest 95 Illegal Immigrants
The Bali police have arrested at least 95 illegal immigrants from Middle Eastern countries in Badung Strait about a mile from the Benoa Port in Denpasar.
“Our patrol officers saw a suspicious boat, so they stopped it and checked the passengers one by one,” Bali provincial police spokesman Comr. Hariadi said in Denpasar.
According to him, those illegal immigrants got into Bali by a traditional wooden boat without any travel documents.
Hariadi said the Bali police are currently identifying the origin of the illegal immigrants, but none of them has testified.
“On the boat, there were two crew members, but they could not show any documents and none of them could provide information needed. That’s the main obstacle in handling this case,” he explained.
Besides, he said, not all of the illegal immigrants understand English, making it’s difficult for the police and immigration officers to identify them.
“Until now, we do not know where they are from and where they want to go. So far, according to the information we have received, those illegal immigrants consisting of men, women, and a number of children come from Turkey, Syria, and Iran,” he noted.
Hariadi believed that the illegal immigrants intended to seek asylum in Australia which has often become the destination of asylum seekers, especially those from Middle Eastern countries and some conflict-affected countries.
Meanwhile, after 95 illegal immigrants from Iran arrested in the sea of Benoa, they have been detained in a number of hotels in this province.
“No more place in our detention houses for the newly arrested illegal immigrants ,” Head of the Denpasar Immigration Service Bambang Wisnu Wardana said.
Detention houses of the Bali Immigration Service have been fully occupied with 55 other illegal immigrants moved in recently from Bengkulu.
The 95 illegal immigrants from Iran including men, women and children have been given temporary accommodation at three small hotels facilitated by the UNHCR, the U.N. organization for refugees in Denpasar.
“We have sent letters to the Immigration Office in Jakarta and the UNHCR asking for instruction where the immigrants would stay later,” Bambang said.
He said that the crewmen of the ship bringing them illegally to the country’s territory are being questioned by police.
The Iranians said their destination is Australia seeking for political asylum.Filed under: Headlines