Twenty-four asylum seekers from Afghanistan and Pakistan have been arrested in Bangka-Belitung province after they were found without requested immigration documents.
“They were arrested by the Navy in two different places — at Tanjung Limbung Muntok Port in West Bangka district and at Depati Amir Airport in Central Bangka district — while they were heading to Jakarta,” said Filianto Akbar, head of supervision at the Pangkal Pinang Immigration Office on Bangka Island, as quoted by Antara state news agency.
The male asylum seekers were reported to the International Organization for Migration, which planned to see them on Friday.
The Navy also arrested four drivers and an assistant who were transporting the asylum seekers. The drivers said they had helped drive asylum seekers seven times.
Udin, one of the drivers, said he charged Rp 1.5 million ($160) for a trip from the port to the airport.
Habibullah, one of the asylum seekers, said he left Afghanistan because of the conflict there, news portal radarbangka.co.id reported. He said he considered Indonesia a safe haven.