The boats were stopped in front of an uninhabited island near Jayapura while heading to PNG's territory, Papua Police spokesperson Sen. Coms. Ahmad Kamal revealed.
The PNG nationals aboard the boats were then arrested, as they failed to present valid documents to travel to the Indonesian province of Papua, he reported here, Friday.
The PNG nationals were then handed over to the Jayapura city immigration authorities to handle the cases of alleged immigration violations, Kamal stated.
The PNG nationals are identified as Killian Unan (57), Richard Tomur (42), James Tomur (36), Samson Sakuin (32), Simon Awirkwe (43), Charles Pewa (34), and Felix Awowora (45).
They are all registered as the residents of Aitape District in PNG's Sandaun Province that directly shares a boundary with Papua Province, he stated.
According to ANTARA, the Papua immigration authority had encountered difficulties in stopping the arrivals of undocumented border crossers and the inflow of illegal goods, including illicit drugs.
Border crossers include smugglers of marijuana reportedly from PNG. This cross-border drug trafficking case should be tackled through a collective endeavor.
Last year, the Papua Immigration Office recorded that 116 foreign nationals had faced legal sanctions and were deported.
"Some 99 of the 116 immigration violators are PNG citizens, while 17 others comprise 14 Chinese nationals, two South Korean nationals, and one US citizen," he remarked.
Currently, Papua Province has immigration offices in Jayapura, Merauke, Timika, and Biak as well as 10 active immigration checkpoints and two cross-border posts.
Drug smugglers from PNG have become a serious threat to Papua Province.
On March 22, 2021, the Papua police had apprehended two PNG citizens for smuggling marijuana packages into the Indonesian province.
The suspects are identified as Tom Klame, 33, and Gadafi Kuentaw Waropo, 18.
Klame was arrested in the Polimak 1 neighborhood area of Jayapura City, while Waropo was apprehended in Many Island of Jayapura Selatan Sub-district, Jayapura. Domestic and transnational drug dealers view Indonesia as a potential market due to its massive population and millions of drug users.
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