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Slow Boats to Freedom

Recent Arrests Prove Baliís Role as Way Station for Illicit Human Traffic from Middle East to Australia

(5/12/2013) Following the apprehension of 42 Iranian illegal immigrants in Bali in Kerobokan and Sanur, the Bali Water police have taken into custody a further 100 people of Middle Eastern origin on a wooden boat sailing a short distance off Bali’s southernmost port of Benoa.

This arrest of the 100 illegal immigrants on Sunday, May 12, 2013, added to the 42 arrests made just days earlier, underline the role of Bali and Indonesia as a way station for those seeking to illegally immigrate into Australian territory.

The director of the Bali Water Police, Tumbuh Musyareh, said on Sunday, May 12, 2013, “Earlier, during a routine territorial patrol, we encountered a suspicious ship.” When police boarded the ship and found its documents incomplete they escorted the ship to shore where a further inspection found the more than 100 illegal immigrants sheltering below deck.

Tumbuh said that when the ship’s passengers were taken into custody many appeared to be weak and in a state of shock, making it difficult for police to collect personal details. “The total number of people is more than 100; we are still surveying the passengers so we can hand the people over the Human Smuggling Team at Bali’s Police Headquarters,” explained Tumbuh.

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