TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Australian Navy turned away some illegal migrants from the Middle East to Indonesian waters, when they attempted to breach Australian territory. The 45 illegal migrants ended up stranded in Rote Ndao, Nusa Tenggara Timur, as confirmed by the Rote Ndao Chief of Police, Senior Commissioner Hidayat.
Before the immigrants were refused entry, Hidayat said, the Australian Navy equipped them with life jackets and a communication device. "The Australian Navy figured out that Rote seamen often poke a hole in the ships before they enter Australian waters. Therefore, they made precautions," he explained.
The migrants touched Indonesian shores at 2:00am local time, consisting of nine women and 36 men who had come all the way from Sudan, Eritrea, Somalia, Ghana, Lebanon, Egypt, and Yaman. They were temporarily detained in the former immigration office of Kupang, considering that the Rudenim detention center is now full of illegal migrants who await deportation.