Batam, Riau Islands (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla) thwarted the illegal deployment of 30 prospective Indonesian migrant workers (PMIs) to Malaysia in the Dangas Beach waters, Batam City, Riau Island.

"During its maritime security and safety operations, Bakamla was able to thwart the illegal deployment of 30 PMIs in the Dangas Beach waters," Bakamla's Director of Marine Operations, Commodore Friche Flack, noted in a statement on Thursday.

At first, Flack noted that Bakamla had received information regarding suspicious activity of alleged illegal loading of prospective PMIs around Dangas Beach.

Thereafter, on November 12, Bakamla personnel immediately blocked the North Sekupang waters in Batam City as well as took action against attempts to smuggle illegal PMIs.

"On November 12, we were able to locate an unnamed fast boat that was heading north out of the Dangas Beach waters. The boat then immediately went south in an attempt to escape," he added.

After half an hour of chasing, Bakamla found the unnamed ship at one of the unofficial docks with no passengers and crews.

"Seeing that the ship was empty, the team then conducted a search around the location to look for the whereabouts of these people," Flack remarked.

Thereafter, on November 13, at around 5:30 local time, the personnel found 30 illegal prospective PMIs hiding in the mangrove forest around the pier. This location is known to be a temporary stopover before leaving for Malaysia, he revealed.

Moreover, the 30 illegal PMIs were taken to Bakamla's ship for further investigation, he added.

"From the results of the investigation, the 30 PMIs came from Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara. In order to leave for Malaysia, they were charged with Rp10-15 million per person for the so-called agents," Flack stated.

On Thursday, he noted that all prospective PMIs arrested were handed over to the Batam City Indonesian Migrant Worker Protection Service Post (P4MI) for further legal processing.

"This arrest is the result of collaboration between Bakamla and the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) Strategic Intelligence Agency (Bais)," he remarked.

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Translator: Ilham Yude, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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