Released migrant workers should return to their hometowns: Police chief

Released migrant workers should return to their hometowns: Police chief


Jakarta (ANTARA News) - General Tito Karnavian, Indonesia`s Police Chief, has asked migrant workers who were freed from the armed criminal group, to return to their hometowns rather than going back to Kimbeli and Banti kampongs, Tembagapura sub-district, Mimika District, Papua Province, where they had been held hostages for around three weeks.

There were 346 migrant workers, who were mostly illegal miners.

"Do not go back to the area where the hostage-taking happened," he stated.

The police have coordinated with the Social Affairs Ministry regarding their return and for providing them job opportunities in their hometowns.

An illegal miner reportedly manages to get one gram of gold per day in areas near PT Freeport mine.

The general remarked that the release of the hostages is a momentum to clear the areas from illegal miners.

"The illegal miners trigger many social issues, such as prostitution and HIV infection," Karnavian remarked.

Since Friday (Nov 17), a total of 804 indigenous Papuans and 346 migrant workers have been released by the joint police and military task force, after being held hostages by an armed criminal group in several kampongs, particularly Kimbeli and Banti, which are located near Tembagapura.

Meanwhile, as many as 803 inhabitants of Banti and Kimbeli kampongs have been evacuated to Timika after being released by Indonesia`s security personnel.

They were moved to Timika to receive health and education services for their children, in particular, and to get food as well as other basic needs, Senior Commissioner AM Kamal, spokesman of the Papua Provincial Police, said here, on Monday.

The 803 people are indigenous Papuans who live in the two kampongs located near Tembagapura.

They were transported by 11 buses belonging to US copper and gold mining company PT Freeport Indonesia and tightly guarded by military and police personnel grouped in an integrated task force.

"They are temporarily accommodated in Eme Neme Yauware Building in Timika," Kamal explained.

Inspector General Boy Rafli Amar, head of the Papua Provincial Police, earlier revealed that Banti tribal chief and religious leaders had asked the task force to evacuate hundreds of residents of their kampong to Timika in order for them to receive medical and education services as well as daily food.

Some 150 to 200 people, however, have decided to remain in their kampongs to take care of their belongings.

reported by Anita Permata Dewi