MEDAN, KOMPAS.com – Members of the Indonesian Navy from Tanjung Balai Asahan Naval Base (Lanal) secured a boat carrying 115 alleged Indonesian illegal migrant workers and children from Malaysia during a routine patrol on Saturday, March 13.
Tanjung Balai Asahan Naval Base commander, Lieutenant Colonel Robinson Hendrik Etwory, said in a statement that the 115 people comprised 80 men, 31 women, and four babies.
“They were found in KM Sinar Utama boat with three crew members,” Robinson said, adding that the boat was allegedly carrying illegal Indonesian workers from Malaysia.
Commander of the Navy’s First Fleet Command (Pangkoarmada I) Rear Admiral Abdul Rasyid said the Navy patrol will always be held routinely especially in high-threat areas where illegal border crossing, drug smuggling, movement of illegal commodities, and human trafficking are prevalent.
The patrol is also in line with the directive from the Indonesian Navy chief of staff Admiral Yudo Margono.
“The Indonesian Navy has an active role in assisting the government to accelerate the handling of Covid-19, especially in the territorial waters where smuggling of illegal Indonesian migrant workers are still found,” Rasyid said.
He said amid the Covid-19 pandemic the Indonesian Navy would carry out additional procedures in dealing with the smuggling of illegal Indonesian migrant workers in Jemur Island, which is under the purview of the Navy’s First Fleet Command.
“The additional protocol will be done by the Tanjung Balai Asahan Covid-19 Task Force to break the chain and prevent the spread of coronavirus,” he said.