Illegal immigrants stranded at Pangandaran beach

Pangandaran, West Java (ANTARA News) - Tens of illegal immigrants from the Middle East were found stranded at Pangandaran Beach in West Java on Wednesday night, stated an official.

"They were found stranded west of Pangandaran beach, across from Malabar Hotel," stated local Water Sports Tourism Rescue Agency (Balawisata) spokesman Asep Udel, over the phone on Thursday.

According to him, the illegal immigrants were then assisted by the Balawisata officials and handed over to Pangandaran security officials.

"Some of them were children and pregnant women on their way to Australia, but the boat they were traveling in had run out of fuel and left them stranded at the west of Pangandaran beach," Asep explained.

He added that the illegal immigrants admitted that they had entered Australian waters but were rejected by the countrys water police and were forced to return to Indonesian waters.

Meanwhile, around 40 illegal immigrants, also from the Middle East, had been stranded in Sukabumi and are now being accommodated at the immigration detention center in Cisarua, Bogor, West Java.

"Indeed around 40 illegal immigrants have been stranded in Jaringao, in the village of Gunungbatu, Ciracap, within a conservation area" resort head Dulman Effendi informed newsmen in Sukabumi on Wednesday.

He stated that the incident took place on January 16 and, according to the information, the local community security guards found them.

He added that the asylum seekers had actually arrived at the island during Christmas, but were then rejected by Australia and sent back to Indonesia and were finally stranded at Ciracap.

They returned to Indonesia or Sukabumi on an orange lifeboat that belonged to Australia. The boat has now been confiscated by the Indonesian navy as evidence. (*)