Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Manpower has praised Soekarno Hatta Airport (Soetta) Police, Tangerang, Banten, for successfully detecting a syndicate that was placing Indonesian Migrant Workers (PMI) illegally.

"We appreciate the Soetta Police ranks who are very serious about uncovering the criminal act of illegal PMI placement. This is a good step to have a deterrent effect on others," the ministry's director general of development of labor inspection and occupational safety and health Haiyani Rumondang said in a written statement received here on Friday.

She stressed that the placement of PMI in other countries must follow the regulations. Therefore, the ministry has urged those who wish to work abroad to follow the regulations.

"We already have the procedure and please visit the Manpower Service in each region if you wish to work abroad. Do not be easily persuaded by the instant procedure to work abroad because it is very risky. If you decide to work abroad without clear procedures, according to Law Number 18 of 2017 concerning PPMI, of course, you will not be registered with the government and representatives," she informed.

Meanwhile, the ministry's director of labor norms examination Yuli Adiratna expressed his gratitude to Soetta Police, immigration officials, airport operator Angkasa Pura, and the Indonesian Migrant Workers’ Protection Agency (BP2MI) for working together to prevent illegal PMI from going abroad.

"This is the result of our joint work between ministries/agencies and the police. We hope that non-procedural placements will not occur again in the future. This is a lesson for all of us because there are elements who take advantage of our PMI," he said.

So far, the ministry has continued to conduct outreach and education among the community, and even involved village governments in raising awareness about the legal procedure for PMI placements, he noted.

"The government does not prohibit people from working abroad. However, we must regulate the procedure to avoid incidents that may harm our people, especially PMI in this matter," he added.

Head of the Soetta Police Criminal Investigation Unit, Commissioner Rezha Rahandi said that his party had identified three members of the syndicate (RC, ABN, and MBA) as suspects. They promised PMI candidates money to work abroad illegally.

"Funding for PMI comes from abroad. Usually, one worker is promised US$3,200 or around Rp48 million. The arrangements for passports and visas are handled by these syndicates," Rahandi explained.

He informed that the arrests were made based on information that dozens of prospective migrant workers were planning to go to several Middle Eastern countries on October 17, 2022.

The police found that there had been an attempt to smuggle prospective PMIs. Joint investigators with BP2MI immediately secured the workers and thwarted their departure from Soekarno Hatta Airport.

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Translator: Asep Firmansyah, Resinta S
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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