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Indonesian Immigration Office Continues To Hunt Illegal Foreign Workers
Two Chinese nationals, Li Jieshu and Wu Kaiyong working illegally in Kunut Village of Puruk Cahu regency of Central Kalimantan are in the Central Kalimantan's Immigration Office detention center. Immigration officials arrested them on April 1, 2016, as the foreigners violated their visas. |PHOTO: Antara/Ronny NT
January 9th, 2017 | 09:55 AM | 1243 views
Immigration officers conducted a raid over the weekend in West Jakarta, as part of heightened efforts to bust illegal foreign workers.
Almost 100 foreign prostitutes were arrested in West Jakarta in the first week of January after immigration officers raided nightclubs, karaoke bars and boarding houses.
The recent raid, which resulted in the detention of 20 prostitutes, 15 of whom were Vietnamese, 3 Thai and 2 Chinese, came after the government announced that it would set up a task force to improve surveillance on foreign workers.
“All of them entered Indonesia using tourism visas and have been here for one or two months,” said Benget Steven, West Jakarta Immigration Office’s head of law enforcement on Sunday.
The raid was organized by the Foreigner Oversight Team (Timpora) under immigration offices, Benget added.
Data from the Law and Human Rights Ministry’s Directorate General of Immigration revealed that in 2016, 7,787 foreigners, 1,837 of whom were Chinese, were punished for violating immigration regulations.
On New Year’s Eve, the immigration office detained 76 Chinese prostitutes at nightclubs in West Jakarta.
The ministry’s directorate general of immigration spokesperson Agung Sampurno said Sunday that during the Dec. 31 raid, officers netted 92 passports, but only 76 people were arrested. The rest managed to escape.
During the raid, immigration officers seized passports, condoms and money amounting to Rp 16 million (US$1,200). Out of the 76 people, one has been released because she has a working permit as a therapist from the Manpower Ministry.
The other prostitutes will have to face a maximum of 5 years in prison and pay fines up to Rp 500 million. They could also be deported and banned from entering Indonesia.
Some of the prostitutes, Agung continued, were invited to Jakarta for New Year’s Eve. On average, the price of their service cost between Rp 1.5 million to Rp 5 million.
Timpora was assisted by the Military Police (POM TNI).
“Our departments support one another. Assistance can come from the Indonesian Military [TNI], police officers or related ministries,” Agung said.
Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto said Friday that the new task force was aimed at ensuring that there would be no hidden agenda, such as illegal work, acts of terror or involvement in the illegal drug trade.
The House’s Commission IX overseeing health and manpower welcomed the monitoring agency and encouraged a second agency under a coordinating ministry.
“Because the Law and Human Rights Ministry and its immigration directorate general only focus on the country’s border gates, illegal workers are now working for mining and infrastructure projects in the forests,” said commission chairman Dede Yusuf Macan Effendi of the Democratic Party on Sunday.
“The agency should cooperate with the National Police, State Intelligence Agency, National Counterterrorism Agency, Manpower Ministry and local authorities as well.”
Commission deputy chairman Saleh Partaonan Daulay said the government should ensure the additional agency would not overlap with the existing agency. “If both agencies are going to be relatively the same, it’s better to just strengthen immigration’s Timpora rather than establish a new agency,” said the National Mandate Party (PAN) politician.
He also recommended that the ministry consider the budget because there was no way it could execute this plan without financial support. “The government should discuss and consult with us [first],” Saleh added.
courtesy of THE JAKARTA POST
by Winda A.Charmila and Nurul Fitri Ramadhani
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