Indonesia asks for extradition of eight citizens from Vietnam

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia has asked Vietnam to extradite its eight citizens allegedly found involved in a case of piracy involving the Orikim Harmony ship.

The Deputy Chief of Indonesias National Police, Commissioner General Syafruddin, has met with Vietnams Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan to seek the extradition of the citizens so that they can be made to face the judicial process in the country.

"Working jointly with the foreign ministry, we are seeking the extradition of the citizens being held in Vietnam," he said in a written statement received here on Monday.

At the meeting, Commissioner General Syafruddin also discussed ways of cooperation in the fight against crimes, including prevention of human smuggling, narcotic drugs and illegal fishing. Efforts to deal with the problem of traffic jams also figured.

He reminded that Indonesia and Vietnam have certain similar characteristics. "If we fail to control certain aberrations, security issues will become a big problem," he stated.

Syafruddin and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan also discussed the issue of illegal fishing by Vietnamese fishermen in the Indonesian waters.

He pointed out that the Vietnamese government has asked Indonesia to treat the Vietnamese fishermen humanely since the government has already made them aware of and educated about the problem they may face if they fish in prohibited areas.

He said Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan has also asked for transparency in handling criminal cases, and urged for cooperation, stressing the need to work in the spirit of strategic partnership.

A Vietnamese court has ruled for the detention of the eight Indonesian citizens for committing act of piracy against a Malaysian-flagged tanker in 2015.

The citizens, who were found stranded on a rubber boat in Tho Chu island waters, had initially claimed they faced some problems in the sea.

The local authorities became suspicious because they found the eight Indonesians were carrying a lot of cash money.

Eventually, the Vietnamese authorities charged them with pirating the Malaysian vessel MT Orkim Harmony.

The Indonesian and Malaysian governments have asked for the extradition of the Indonesians but the Vietnamese court has rejected pleas to send them home to Indonesia.(*)

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