Nunukan, North Kalimantan (ANTARA News) - Malaysia has released eleven Indonesian seaweed farmers who were recently arrested by their maritime police for allegedly crossing the countrys border.

The commander of the naval base in Nunukan, North Kalimantan, Lt. Col. Imam Hidayat, said on Wednesday evening that 11 farmers were handed over at Sebatik Island on the Indonesia-Malaysia border at around 6.15 p.m. on Wednesday local time.

The Malaysian marine police handed over the farmers in Tawau in the presence of the liaison police officer of the Indonesian consulate in Tawau, chief of Sei Nyamumk police sector First Inspector Oman Purnama and the Sei Pacang naval post commander in Sebatik, Second Lieutenant Herry.

He added that the 11 fishermen from Jalan Tanjung RT 12, West Nunukan, arrived at around 9 p.m. and were immediately taken to the naval base in Sedadap, South Nunukan.

The deportation of the fishermen who were held for 10 days came following the joint efforts of police and navy personnel along with the LO officer of the Indonesian consulate in Tawau.

Besides deporting the 11 fishermen, the three boats they used for seaweed farming have also been returned.

The Indonesian consul in Tawau, Muhammad Soleh, told Antara that the return of the Nunukan fishermen was part of constant communication with the Malaysian maritime police in Tawau and that their case need not be processed in court.

He expressed hope that other local fishermen will learn from the incident and be more careful when they are near the Indonesia-Malaysia border and will always carry proper documents.

After being given a briefing and medical check-up, the fishermen were handed over to their families the same day at around 11.47 p.m.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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