Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Manpower Ministry's labor inspection team halted an illegal departure of 32 prospective Indonesian migrant workers to the Middle East during an impromptu inspection at Kertajati Majalengka International Airport, West Java, on Sunday.

The ministry's Director General of the Development of Manpower Supervision and Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Haiyani Rumondang said she was disappointed with this illegal departure amid the government's human trafficking prevention efforts.

"I hope the perpetrators will be dealt with the consequences and the victims must properly be protected, including sending them back home," she noted in a statement.

Rumondang said the government has never prohibited Indonesian citizens from working abroad as long as the prospective migrant workers follow all regulations for the sake of their own safety.

"I ask all parties to be professional in placing our prospective workers abroad. This is for the sake of their own safety and the country's reputation. Please take firm action against the perpetrators and save the victims," she emphasized.

Meanwhile, the ministry's Manpower Supervision Director Yuli Adiratna said the impromptu inspection was carried out to respond to public information on a departure of prospective migrant workers to the Middle East via Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from the Kertajati Airport.

From the inspection, the team found 32 prospective female migrant workers. They admitted that they would go to the Middle East for working.

Adiratna informed that they planned to leave for Kuala Lumpur by boarding Air Asia. From KL, they continue to fly to Colombo, Riyadh, Dubai, and Qatar.

The prospective migrant workers come from the provinces of Central Java, East Java, West Java, Banten, and West Nusa Tenggara (NTB).

"They were found with no placement documents for Indonesian Migrant Workers as regulated in article 5 and article 13 of Law number 18 of 2017 concerning the Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers," Adiratna said.

The ministry's labor inspection team members coordinate with their counterparts from related parties including the West Java Manpower Service to investigate this case, Adiratna noted.

The labor inspection team has also planned to file a report to the West Java Regional Police regarding this case.

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Translator: Zubi Mahrofi, Resinta S
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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