Tangerang, West Java (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Migrant Worker Protection Agency (BP2MI) has detected a new channel for smuggling illegal Indonesian migrant workers (PMI) abroad by an international criminal syndicate for human trafficking.

"We are now estimating that the smuggling operation will shift to other airports after the Soekarno Hatta International Airport security recently prevented the departure of 38 prospective migrant workers," acting Head of the agency's Migrant Worker Protection Service Center (BP3MI) Dharma Saputra noted in Tangerang, Banten Province, on Sunday.

According to Saputra, the allegation of diverting the route for sending migrant workers was found after Soekarno Hatta Airport was deemed unsafe because local security forces had attempted to thwart it.

After it was found that the police had secured alleged illegal PMI in Soekarno Hatta Airport, the syndicate would probably shift its smuggling operation to other airports, he informed.

Saputra stated that one of other locations targeted by syndicates in distributing non-procedural PMI was Juanda International Airport in Surabaya City, East Java.

Nevertheless, the BP2MI has also asked the airport authority to cooperate in monitoring efforts related to the illegal smuggling of migrant workers.

"We also appeal airlines authorities to cooperate in identifying their passengers," Saputra remarked.

He also reminded security officers at all airports to pay attention if there was a large increase in the number of flight ticket bookings since it could be the modus operandi for smuggling PMI.

Earlier on February 10, the Soekarno Hatta Airport Police managed to thwart the international syndicate for criminal acts of trafficking in persons (TPPO) through Soekarno Hatta International Airport, Tangerang.

The method used for channeling Indonesian migrant workers to Middle Eastern countries is based on a report from the Ministry of Manpower.

This disclosure began when BP2MI together with the Airport Police Criminal Investigation Unit investigators thwarted the departure of 38 prospective Indonesian migrant workers. They were secured in the Gate 5 area of International Terminal 3 departure at Soekarno Hatta Airport.

Based on this result, the police arrested three male suspects, only identified by their initials MAB (49), ABM (46) from East Jakarta, and a woman, identified as RC (43) from Lebak, Banten.

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Translator: Azmi Syamsul M, Resinta S
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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