In a statement received via a message service here, Saturday, Indonesian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Agus Maftuh Abegebriel noted that Turini binti Mashari Tarsina had left her Kedaung Village for Saudi Arabia on October 24, 1998.
In Saudi Arabia, Turini worked for Aun Niyaf Aun Alotaibi's family, the ambassador remarked, adding that reports about Turini surfaced in mid-2013, but owing to insufficient data, the Indonesian Embassy found it difficult to locate her.
"The turning point in the search for Turini came in March 2019. During that time, the Indonesian Embassy received information from Turini's children in Indonesia that their mother had just contacted them through a telephone number belonging to a Filipino citizen," Indonesian Ambassador Abegebriel revealed.
The valuable information received from Turini’s children was then followed up by the Indonesian Embassy in Riyadh, which was quick to contact the number.
It was found that the Filipino worked at the home of a family that was related to Turini's employer.
Through that communication, the Indonesian Embassy succeeded in getting in touch with Turini's employer, Feihan Mamduh Alotaibi, the son-in-law of the old employer, Aun Niyaf Aun Alotaibi, who had passed away 10 years ago.
Ambassador Abegebriel expounded that while working for 21 years, Turini had never received salary and had no access to communication with her family in Indonesia, for which the Indonesian Embassy had negotiated with the employers.
With assistance from the Dawadmi Police Station on April 2, 2019, the Indonesian Embassy team was finally able to meet Turini and negotiated with her employer at his home in a remote area of Saudi Arabia, some 387 kilometers from Riyadh.
Abegebriel admitted to the negotiation process with the employer being quite challenging.
"However, through the Muslim student-style approach, taqdimul adab (prioritizing an anthropological social approach), thank God, the employer was willing to pay Turini's salary of 150,000 Riyal (equivalent to 550 million rupiah)," Abegebriel stated.
During the years she went missing, Turini was considered to have overstayed her visa and was subjected to fines.
Finally, the fine was imposed on the employer, who had to bear the expenses of Turini’s return ticket to Indonesia on Sunday, July 21, 2019, accompanied by a Saudi-based Indonesian Embassy staff member, Muhammad al-Qarni, who was involved in rescuing Turini.
Ambassador Abegebriel stressed that the Indonesian Embassy in Riyadh will always be on the forefront to assist Indonesian citizens in Saudi Arabia.
"The Indonesian Embassy must serve all Indonesian citizens in Saudi Arabia with heart," he emphasized.
Earlier, the Indonesian Embassy had managed to pardon the death sentence imposed on Eti bt Tayib by paying ransom worth Rp15 billion. EDITED BY INE