Kupang, E Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA News) - East Nusa Tenggara Police arrested seven illegal Iraqi immigrants and two Indonesians serving as the crew of the boat they were traveling in on waters off the coast of Rote Ndao district.

"My men have just arrested seven illegal immigrants in Rote Ndao waters when they were about to head to Australia," head of the East Nusatenggara Water Police Senior Commissioner Purwoko said here Thursday.

The arrest was made during a routine patrol in Rote Ndao waters by Water Police boat number 402, he said.

The immigrants who were seeking asylum in Australia were found in a nameless wooden boat and without the required documents proving the legality of their presence in East Nusa Tenggara.

The seven immigrants, consisting of six adults and one child, together with two boat crew members were now being held at East Nusatenggara Water Police`s Headquarters for further questioning.

After the questioning. the immigrants would be handled by People Smuggling Unit for further coordination with the immigration office, Purwoko said.

The Head of Immigration Law and Human Rights Division of East Nusa Tenggara, Rindang Napitupulu has received the report of illegal immigrants arrest.

According to Rindang, the motives of the immigrants fleeing to Australia was not identified yet.

The immigration office would conduct further investigation towards the immigrants, he said.(*)

Editor: Jafar M Sidik
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