Thursday, June 4, 2009

Australia-bound boatpeople detained

ASEAN Internal Affair's of individual countries affecting other Asean's and
who is picking up the tab?...

( -From correspondents in Kupang, Indonesia

INDONESIA has detained 59 Afghan and Pakistani migrants on eastern Sumba island and arrested four alleged people-smugglers trying to send them to Australia.

The migrants were travelling from neighbouring Sumbawa island's coastal town of Bima to Australia yesterday, East Sumba police chief Petra Putra said.

"Strong winds and waves caused their boat's engine to break down," he said.

The police also arrested an Indonesian boat captain and three crew members on suspicion of people-smuggling.

Crew member Adhar said he had been paid two million rupiah ($250) to bring the migrants to Australia.

Indonesia is a frequent staging point for people who pay traffickers to take them to Australia in search of a better life.

Over 1000 migrants from countries including Burma, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sri Lanka and Pakistan ave been caught since November last year, immigration spokesman Maroloan Barimbing said.

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