Tanjungpinang, Riau Islands (ANTARA News) - A total of 18 illegal immigrants from Myanmar were arrested police in Bintan district, Riau Islands province, on Thursday.

Port security post chief Adjunct Inspector-I Afrizet said here on Thursday that the 18 illegal immigrants from Myanmar were nabbed when they were waiting for a Jakarta-bound Pelni ship at Sri Bayintan port in Kijang, Bintan district, at 6.30 on Thursday morning.

"We are suspicious about their strange attitude as the sat separately in the passengers waiting room, and when we asked for their identity we found that they were Myanmar`s illegal immigrants," Afrizer said.

He said the police, assisted by port officials, then checked one by one the prospective passengers of MV Lambelu, a Pelni ship, which was about to leave Sri Bayintan port for Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta.

"After the security check, we discovered that 18 illegal immigrants from Myanmar were about to leave for Jakarta and then we immediately nabbed them," Afrizer said.

According to him, all 18 Myanmar`s illegal immigrants are men who crossed from Malaysia by a speed boat through an illegal channel.

"The left Malaysia at midnight and arrived in Bintan at about 4 in the morning," Afrizet said.

He said the illegal immigrants admitted that they arrived at a certain point in Bintan and then walked to Sri Bayintan port for about 30 minutes before being picked up by two minibuses.

"The have all already pocketed Jakarta-bound MV Lambelu tickets which had been bought in advance by someone for them," Afrizet said. (*)

Editor: Kunto Wibisono
Copyright © ANTARA 2011