Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Directorate General of Immigration of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights has readied 10 new patrol boats in 2023 in a bid to tackle cross-border crimes.

"The function of the Immigration (directorate general) demands the availability of adequate patrol boats to monitor possible cross-border crimes, such as human trafficking and smuggling," Acting Director General of Immigration Widodo Ekatjahjana noted in a statement received in Jakarta on Friday.

The acting director general said that the agency noticed leeways in the maritime area that were used to commit cross-border crimes, such as smuggling and human trafficking.

Despite urgency to monitor the sea, immigration offices, with a maritime area under their jurisdiction, could not perform their duties effectively due to lacking proper patrol boats, he noted.

"In the end, immigration offices often resorted to renting a ship despite budget constraints," Ekatjahjana remarked.

He said the significant increase in non-tax state revenues (BNPB) in 2022, which reached Rp4 trillion (US$256 million), allowed the directorate general to procure new patrol boats.

Apart from acquiring patrol boats, the BNPB will be used for other law enforcement purposes effectively and efficiently, he added.

Ekatjahjana pointed out that immigration units in Riau Islands only have five patrol boats to conduct law enforcement duties despite the sea constituting the majority of the province's area.

"So far, our spending realization focuses only on the service aspect, even though focus to control the maritime area for immigration offices with the sea under its jurisdiction, such as in Riau Islands, is also necessary," the director general affirmed.

Taking into account conditions in Riau Islands and local immigration offices with similar situations, the directorate general is committed to procuring new ships, he remarked.

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Translator: M Zulfikar, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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