Apriadi Gunawan, Medan – The Indonesian Navy has intercepted 34 undocumented Indonesian workers trying to leave for Malaysia on a motorboat from Batu Bara regency in North Sumatra.
Tanjung Balai Asahan Navy base commander Lt. Col. Aan Prana Tuah Sebayang told The Jakarta Post that military and police personnel had chased and stopped the boat carrying 30 workers after arresting the first four at an illegal port in Guntung village, Tanjung Tiram district.
The 20 men and 14 women were taken to the Tanjung Tiram Navy post for further investigation.
Indonesian Navy western fleet commander ??Rear Adm. Arsyad Abdullah said the Navy would continue patrolling the area to prevent people from trying to enter Malaysia illegally.
"Patrols will continue, especially in areas known for such entry and departure," Arsyad said.
Last month, in a different part of the province, the Labuhanbatu Police thwarted an attempt to transport 54 undocumented workers heading for Malaysia. The workers came from all over the archipelago and had paid smugglers between Rp 300,000 (US$20.85) and Rp 4.5 million to get them to Malaysia.
Late last year, two boats carrying undocumented workers sank in Malaysian waters. Both had departed from Batu Bara coast in North Sumatra.
In the first incident, 19 people died off the coast of Johor Baru on Dec. 15. In the second, 10 people died and 35 were saved off Sekinchan in Selangor on Christmas day, while 30 remain missing.