Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA) - The East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Law and Human Rights Office sent a team to check 13 Iraqi nationals, who are stranded in the Rote Ndao waters while sailing to Australia.

"We have coordinated, and this morning, the team has departed for Rote Ndao to record a number of Iraqi nationals," NTT's Law and Human Rights Office Head Marciana Dominika Jone stated while contacted by ANTARA on Thursday.

Jone noted that the team deployed to Rote Ndao was from the Kupang Immigration Office, the Kupang Immigration Detention Center, and elements of the Immigration Division.

"The team's task is to investigate, collect materials and information, and conduct initial inspections from the immigration aspect, both of the 13 foreigners and the three crew members (crews) found, in coordination with the Rote Ndao Police," he stated.

Meanwhile, Acting Head of the Intelligence, Enforcement, and Security Section of the Kupang Immigration Office Adi Rasyid said that his side had gone to Rote Ndao District to check the report about a ship carrying dozens of foreigners on board.

"Earlier, at 8 a.m. local time, we left for Rote Ndao, and now, we are on our way for the data collection process," Rasyid stated.

He could not as yet confirm when the 13 Iraqis would be moved to Kupang and be taken to a detention center.

The Rote Ndao Police had arrested the 13 illegal immigrants from Iraq in Dodaek Village, South Rote Sub-district, Rote Ndao District, NTT, on Wednesday night (Dec 14).

Apart from the 13 foreigners, the police also detained three crew members, who planned to take them to Australia aboard a boat. The Iraqi nationals were refused entry to Indonesia because they entered illegally.

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Translator: Kkornelis Kaha, Fardah
Editor: Sri Haryati
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