"Abdul Rochman (27), the driver of a Mitsubishi truck carrying the immigrants, said he had been asked by someone to pick up the immigrants from Wangon, Banyumas, Central Java, at 10 p.m. on Wednesday and carry them to Grugu village in Kawunganten, Cilacap," Cilacap Resort Police Chief Adjunct Commissioner Wawan Muliawan said.
The driver, who is a villager of Karangsari, Ciamis, West Java, reported that the man had met him at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Wawan stated.
He explained that Abdul Rochman had accepted the man's offer of Rp300 thousand for the job. He then took the immigrants, who are all men, to Grugu, where he was intercepted by police and taken into custody along with the immigrants, and the truck was impounded.
After the suspects' identities were confirmed, he said all the immigrants and their belongings were handed over to the local immigration office for further processing.
"All of the immigrants were fined, while the driver is still being detained for further questioning," he remarked.
He said the driver is facing a charge of violating Article 120 of Law No. 6/2011 on immigration.
The article provides that anyone seeking benefit directly or indirectly for himself or others by illegally carrying a person or a group of persons within or outside the country commits the crime of human smuggling, which carries a sentence of 5 to 15 years in jail and a fine of Rp500 million to Rp1.5 billion.
He said the 19 immigrants were expecting to sail to Christmas Island, Australia, from Grugu. Twenty-six immigrants from Afghanistan, who were caught by Banyumas resort police at the Ajibarang bus terminal early on Thursday, have arrived at the Cilacap immigration office and are currently under investigation. (*/DWA)