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Batam refuses entry to 211 foreigners due to unruly behaviour
Publication Date : 21-08-2014
The Batam Immigration Office turned away 211 foreigners at its gates in July 2014, allegedly due to disobedience, rowdy and drunken behavioUr, as well as lack of visas.
Batam Immigration Office section head Irwanto Suhaili said that most of the rejections occurred at the port immigration gates.
“Visitors came from Singapore, Malaysia, Central Asian and South Asian countries. Aside from not having visas and unruly behaviour, they did not disclose clear information as to where they would stay in Indonesia,” Irwanto said on Tuesday as quoted by kompas.com.
Irwanto added that he was concerned several visitors who arrived without visas wanted to use Indonesia as a transit point to reach a targeted country to seek asylum in, most likely Australia.
Visitors from the Asean region, which is composed of 10 Southeast Asian countries, are able to enter Indonesia without a visa. Irwanto attributed a significant part of the rejection of Asean citizens at the gates was due to visitors refusing to put their phones away at immigration.
“At any country’s immigration counter, people are not allowed to use their cell phones. The same rule applies here in Indonesia,” he said. Several rejected visitors were placed on the immigration’s black list due to their behaviour.
Irwanto added that despite hundreds of people being turned away at the Batam immigration gates, foreign visitor arrivals in the Riau Islands were not affected.
Batam Tourism Agency head Yusfa Hendri said that Singapore still contributed the largest number of visitors to the region, with 1.3 million people visiting Batam every year. Malaysian visitors are the second biggest contributors.
Malaysian and Singaporean visitors usually visit Batam to shop and dine, and frequently visit the region on weekends.
According to data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), Batam saw 140,218 international visitors in June 2014. The region attracted 1,336,430 international visitors in 2013.