Indonesia detains 48 immigrants heading to Australia

19:24, September 20, 2010      

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Indonesian police on Monday detained 48 illegal immigrants from Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq en route to Australia.

"We detained 48 immigrants from Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq this morning. They want to cross the ocean to Australia, but they put off the voyage because of huge waves," Suciptono, chief of criminal investigation unit in Sukabumi, West Java, told Xinhua by phone.

He said that only five of the immigrants had passports and some had identity cards from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

The police handed over the immigrants to immigration office in Sukabumi district for further processing, said Suciptono.

Last week, 29 illegal immigrants from Afghanistan were detained in Central Sulawesi.

Indonesia and Australia have cooperated in preventing people smuggling as part of a defense treaty, known as Lombok Treaty which was signed in 2006.

Indonesia has been a favorable transit spot for those illegal immigrants from Afghanistan and other Asian countries to seek asylum in Australia for better life. They used to sail by boat in spite of danger.

Source: Xinhua


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