Surabaya, Feb 18 (ANTARA) - East Java police have foiled an attempt to smuggle through 46 undocumented immigrants from Iraq and Iran who were waiting for a boat that would take them to Australia on Friday, a spokesman said.

Senior Commissioner Anang Hidayat, head of the East Java Marine Police, told reporters here on Friday the immigrants were arrested when they were waiting for a boat that would ferry them to Australia from Pasongsongan beach, Sumenep, Madura, East Java.

Police could discover the people smuggling attempt as local people had reported a suspicious arrival at the northern coastal area of Madura island of so many foreigners in the area, Anang Hidayat added.

After a surveillance police then made a move and questioned them and arrested them after all of them could not produce legal travel documents. Three of the illegal immigrants tried to flee but they could be re-arrested, according to Anang Hidayat.

Out of the total 46, six of them are from Iraq and 37 of Iranian citizenship. Twenty one are male and 12 are female, eight are children, two of them are under the age of five years.

Police has transported the immigrants to a shelter at Bangil in Pasuruan, East Java, and will be handed over to the immigration office as police does not the authority to process the case of immigration violation.

In accordance with the standard procedure, the immigrants will be handed over further to the International Organization Migration (IOM) by the Indonesian immigration authority, said Commissioner Hidayat.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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