Kupang, E Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA) - The East Nusa Tenggara police, on Friday, continued to investigate six Chinese nationals who got stranded in the Kupang Bay waters after failing to be transported by an unnamed boat to Australia's territorial waters.

The Chinese nationals are identified as Jiang Xiao Jia, Chen Xu, Li Ke Yang, Zhao Jin Xiang, Wang Dong Fang, and Dai Zhong Hoi, East Nusa Tenggara Police spokesman Senior Commissioner Ariasandy stated.

Speaking in Kupang, the capital of East Nusa Tenggara Province, Ariasandy said they got stranded along with six Indonesian citizens who attempted to transport them to the Australian waters on Wednesday, May 8, 2024.

The Indonesian citizens were identified as Jamaludin, Abang, Masir, Rudi Tastan, Marwin, and Mustang, he said, adding that the local authority was able to stop the unnamed boat before heading to the Australian waters.

The Chinese nationals might have paid the Indonesians for transporting them to Australia, he remarked, adding that the police would hand them over to the Kupang Immigration Office after completing their probe into the case.

According to Ariasandy, the immigration authority would continue to handle the case of these stranded Chinese nationals, while the six Indonesians would get sentenced if found guilty.

East Nusa Tenggara has frequently been used by people smugglers to transport people looking to go to Australia over the past decades.

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In July 2011, the Australian authority sent home three teenagers from Rote Ndao caught by the Australian navy in the Australian waters while they were on a boat carrying illegal immigrants in April 2011.

The three youths, identified as John Ndolu, aged 17, Ose Lani (15), and Ako Lani (16), were caught in the Australian waters along with several illegal immigrants.

Regarding the illegal boat voyage to Australia, Canberra has also been implementing firm law enforcement against people smugglers since 2013. The Australian authority intercepts every boat attempting to enter the country illegally.

As depicted on the Australian Government's official website on "Operation Sovereign Borders" that ANTARA accessed on Friday, "every vessel is closely watched. There is zero chance of illegal migration to Australia."

Those attempting illegal boat journeys to Australia would be turned back to their points of departure, returned to their home countries, or transferred to a third country for processing, according to Australia.

"People smugglers use false promises of settlement in Australia to convince people to hand over their hard-earned savings. Do not believe their lies," the Australian Government warned.

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Translator: Kornelis K, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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