RI’s Coast Guard arrests illegal migrant workers in Riau Islands

Bakamla’s Vice Admiral Aan Kurnia. (Photo: Special)

Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – The Indonesian Coast Guard (Bakamla) on May 9, 2020, early morning arrested some illegal migrant workers who entered the country’s territory through unofficial ports in Batam, Riau Islands, Bakamla’s Head of the West Coast Zone First Admiral Eko Murwanto.

“Thanks to cooperation with all parties, specially the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, Bakamla succeeded in the arrest of illegal workers from Malaysia who tried to return through illegal port routes,” he said.


A total of 19 people consisting of 17 men and two women (with a two-year-old boy) were successfully detained by Bakamla’s Cross Border Operations Task Force in the Tanjung Saung mangrove area.

The operation began with information provided by APMM’s leader Col. Mohd Zul Fadeli bin Nayan at 8:00 at local time on May 8, saying that radar monitored a boat entering borders. It was suspected of mobilizing illegal migrant workers.

After receiving the information, the task force immediately took action to anticipate insulation at a number of entry points.


In the very early morning around 01.00 at local time, the task force monitored the silhouette of the boat from Malaysia which fitted the information from the APMM. The unit then intercepted it.

The boat broke free after learning of the arrival of the task force.

The boat captain was considered a local citizen because he was very familiar with the paths in Batam waters.


The task force lost track, but the target was trapped in the shallow Tanjung Saung mangrove forest as it is a growing coral area.

The captain had escaped and was not found. The team then brought the migrant workers to the base and contacted the port health office to conduct the health protocol.

A quick test conducted by the Port Health Office team members showed no reactive cases. Furthermore, the migrant workers were handed over by the Trans-boundary Task Force Guard to the COVID-19 Task Force of the Batam City Administration for quarantine in Tanjung Uncang Flats and received by dr. Ratna Irawato.


Bakamla’s Vice Admiral Aan Kurnia appreciated the cooperation with the APMM and the performance of his unit in carrying out operational tasks held by the guard.

“Until now the Indonesian National Armed Forces, the Indonesian Police and Bakamla have succeeded in securing 397 illegal migrant workers who have tried to enter Indonesia through illegal ports. Solid cooperation with all parties including Malaysian partner APMM is one of the important key success factors of the security operation for the migrant workers returning from Malaysia,” he explained.

Reporting by Indonesia Window


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