Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Manpower Ministry conducted a sudden inspection at Juanda Airport, Sidoarjo, East Java, on Saturday and prevented the departure of 87 migrant workers, who were about to be dispatched illegally to the Middle East.

Director general of manpower occupational safety and health supervision at the ministry Haiyani Rumondang said that the sudden inspection was conducted after her administration received a report the day before.

"The team immediately moved along with the manpower supervision team of the East Java Manpower and Transmigration Office as well as the Surabaya Migrant Workers Placement technical unit. They immediately intervened (and prevented the departure of) more or less 87 prospective migrant workers who were about to fly at around 8:30 a.m. local time on Lion Air and Batik Air to Malaysia and Singapore, which were allegedly to be followed up with a flight to the Middle East," Rumondang informed in a statement received here on Saturday.

The ministry has often conducted surprise inspections at Soekarno Hatta Airport, Tangerang, Banten, to bust operations involving the illegal placement of migrant workers.

This has led to the airport implementing strict measures when it comes to such things.

Rumondang said that the strict measures have pushed away agencies conducting illegal placements, however, now, the agencies have begun looking for loopholes at other airports to carry out their operations.

"We appeal and stress to all manpower supervision agencies to give special attention to that issue in the respective areas," she added.

Meanwhile, director of labor norms supervision at the Manpower Ministry Yuli Adiratna said that the ministry is currently collecting data and following up on the sudden inspection at Juanda Airport.

"The team is currently collecting data and probing into the problems that happened to find perpetrators involved in the migrant workers' non-procedural placement. The team has also coordinated with the Surabaya Migrant Workers Placement technical unit for the next handling process," she informed

She assured that everyone involved in the act would be subjected to legal proceedings in accordance with Law Number 18 of 2017 about Indonesia Migrant Workers' Protection, and some other laws and regulations.

“We will ensure that prospective PMI victims are protected from all threats from irresponsible parties," she said.

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Translator: Sugiharto Purnama, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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