Merak, Banten. Indonesian Police arrested yet another large group of immigrants trying to illegally enter Australia through Indonesian waters.
This time police arrested 64 immigrants on board a wooden boat bound for Australia’s Christmas Island as they crossed the Sunda Strait on Thursday.
Banten Water Police official First Insp. Satria Nanda said police received information regarding the boat carrying the immigrants from a local fisherman, after which they quickly dispatched a patrol boat to pursue the boat.
The patrol boat, however, ran out of fuel, so the water police immediately sought help from the National Police, which dispatched a bigger patrol boat to run after the immigrants.
“The immigrants threatened to slash the captain of their boat using a machete, and to hold him hostage. But officers finally managed to arrest them,” Satria said, adding the arrest was made in Labuan waters in the Banten district of Pandeglang.
He said 64 immigrants were found on board the boat, comprising 51 men, eight women and five children, and police were planning to evacuate them to Indah Kiat Port in Merak.
Satria added the immigrants likely ran away from their temporary shelters in Bogor, West Java.