The eight Indian citizens who were arrested by immigration officers in Central Jakarta on Jan. 18. (Antara Photo/Widodo S. Jusuf)

Immigration Officers Nab 35 Indian Nationals in Human Smuggling Crackdown


JANUARY 25, 2017

Jakarta. Immigration officers have rounded up 35 Indian nationals in West Jakarta for their alleged involvement in a human smuggling ring, officials said on Wednesday (25/01).

Officers initially arrested eight Indian citizens, alleged to have had links to the group, in a string of raids in Central Jakarta last week.

The 35 people, who entered Indonesia on tourist visas that have already expired, allegedly planned to enter Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, New Zealand, Canada and some European countries illegally to seek employment.

The facts emerged after the arrest of the first eight for failure to produce the required documents during an inspection last Monday, officials said.

"It turned out that their documents, particularly passports, were being held by another Indian national," said Yurod Saleh, director for supervision and enforcement at the Immigration Office.

The man, identified by the initials M.A.L., was arrested two days later. He allegedly arranged the group's working visas for the aforementioned countries and charged them up to $4,000 each.

Last week's arrest of M.A.L. led officers to another two men, identified only as K.S. and A.N., whom Yurod said had conspired with M.A.L. They were arrested over the weekend.

"The arrest of the two ended up with us rounding up a total of 35 Indian citizens," Yurod said. He added that his office also seized multiple passports, cell phones, laptop computers, card swipe machines (also known as EDC machines), cash and education certificates.

Members of the group, aged between 24 and 45 years, have been charged with human smuggling. They could face up to 15 years in prison and maximum fines of Rp 1.5 billion ($112,500), if convicted.