Jakarta. A court in Tangerang, Banten has found seven Indian nationals guilty of resisting Covid-19 quarantine requirement in Indonesia and handed them a five-month suspended sentence, a prosecutor confirmed on Sunday.
The same sentence was handed to seven Indonesians for becoming accessories to the crime.
“The trial on quarantine offenses was concluded on Friday night and all the 14 defendants were sentenced to five months’ imprisonment,” Tangerang prosecutor Dapot Dariarma said.
“They are put on probation for 10 months and fined between Rp 10 million and Rp 25 million.”
All the defendants are convicted under the 2018 law on health quarantine that carries a maximum punishment of 12 months’ imprisonment.
The Indian nationals arrived at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang on April 21 using a chartered Air Asia flight from the Indian city of Chennai. A total of 132 people, including several Indonesian citizens, were aboard the flight.
Five Indian nationals managed to elude quarantine with the help of two compatriots -- who were already staying in Indonesia -- and seven Indonesian nationals, according to police announcement at that time.
The seven defendants of Indian nationality were identified by initials SR, CM, KM, PN, PSD, MS and SR, aged between 35 and 48. They were not detained during the legal proceedings but their passports were held before the three-week trial began on Sept. 10.
According to the existing regulation related to the Covid-19 pandemic, all international visitors are required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
On April 25, the government banned all international arrivals from India except for Indonesian returnees, citing risk of the spread of the Delta variant, at that time called the India variant.
Prior to the decision, the immigration office said 454 Indian citizens had arrived in Indonesia during the April 11-22 period. At least 12 of the visitors later tested positive for Covid-19.