The fishermen from Merauke in Indonesia’s Papua province, were arrested by Papua New Guinea (PNG)’s law enforcement officers in PNG waters and sentenced by the Daru Court in PNG for illegal fishing and illegal entry.
Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – The Indonesian Consulate in Papua New Guinea’s capital of Vanimo, will return eight fishermen from Merauke in Indonesian’s province of Papua, on April 14, 2023, the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a written statement on Sunday.
The fishermen originating from Merauke are crew members of Aditya Sumatra Jaya fishing boat which has finished serving prison sentences from the Daru Penitentiary (LP), Western Province, Papua New Guinea (PNG), on April 7, 2023.
To ensure the smooth return of the fishermen, the Indonesian Consulate in Vanimo is working with the Indonesian Embassy in Port Moresby and related agencies in Indonesia (including the Merauke city administration) as well as Papua New Guinea government agencies.
On April 8, 2023, the Indonesian Consul in Vanimo, Allen Simarmata, met fishermen and handed over aid.
The condition of the fishermen is good and healthy, Allen said, adding that currently the fishermen are at the Daru District Police Office while awaiting the process of returning to Indonesia.
The Indonesian Consulate in Vanimo has also contacted the fishermen’s families in Merauke regarding the release of the fishermen after serving their sentences and plans to return to Merauke.
The repatriation of the fishermen involved officers from various PNG agencies such as the Police, Customs, Immigration, the PNG Defense Force, Western Province government officials, and Daru prison officers.
The fishermen will be handed over to the Indonesian authorities at the Indonesia-PNG sea border on the Torasi River.
The eight fishermen from Merauke were arrested by PNG law enforcement officers in PNG waters and sentenced by the Daru Court in cases of illegal fishing and illegal entry.
They have been serving their sentences in Daru Prison, Papua New Guinea, since December 8, 2021.
Reporting by Indonesia Window