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Indonesia deports 22 undocumented migrants
Publication Date : 07-10-2013
The government finally deported 22 undocumented migrants who survived a shipwreck in the waters off Agrabinta in Cianjur regency, West Java, on Sept. 27.
“The deportees were 18 Lebanese citizens, three Iraqis and one Jordanian,” Sukabumi Immigration Office chief, Yayat Indiana, told The Jakarta Post through an SMS on Sunday.
Supervision and enforcement section head at the Sukabumi Immigration Office, Markus Lenggong Rindingpadang, confirmed that 28 people 18 Lebanese, five Iraqis, three Eritreans, one Iranian and a Jordanian had survived the shipwreck .
The survivors were transferred from Sukabumi to Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Cengkareng, Banten, under police escort.
Their flights left around midnight on Sunday.
“Six other migrants were transferred to the International Organization for Migration [IOM] community house,” Yayat said, adding that the community house was located in
Jakarta but he did not know the exact location.
He said the six migrants, three Eritreans, an Iranian and two Iraqis, wanted to seek asylum.
The 28 survivors were part of a group of 72 undocumented migrants attempting to reach the Australian territory of Christmas Island, some 364 kilometers south of Agrabinta.
While they were being processed the migrants were housed at Sarah Hotel in Sukabumi under the auspices of the IOM.
Yayat said the deported foreigners would be added to a prevention list that would bar them from returning to Indonesia.
The deportation of the migrants was coordinated with the applicable embassies, Yayat said the Lebanese embassy was the most responsive.
The initial plan was to transfer the migrants to Belawan Immigration Detention Center in Medan, North Sumatra, as it had previously agreed to take the undocumented migrants.
However, Yayat said, as the documentation process was swift the foreigners’ deportation was expedited.
One of the undocumented migrants, Abdul Hadad, alias Kiko, had previously told the Post that he paid US$10,000 to a man identified as Abu Ali, a Palestinian broker in his hometown of Tripoli in Lebanon.
Abu Ali had been recommended by one of Kiko’s friends, who was already in Australia.
Communication with Abu Ali was conducted discreetly and Kiko only met him after his tourist visa to Indonesia had been issued. Kiko arrived at Soekarno-Hatta
International Airport in June and kept moving, from one hotel, to another.
When he started the journey to the boat on Sept. 23, Kiko saw no familiar faces but he said all the migrants had been brought from Jakarta by someone known as Abu Saleh.
Kiko said the boat looked dilapidated.
“No life jacket, no food. I know it’s a bad boat, because my house in Lebanon [is] near the beach, so I know if this boat is good or bad,” he said.
He said there were at least 72 people on board, including five to seven women and 20 children, three of which were still babe-in-arms.