Inquiry into Australia-smuggler payment pending

Indonesia is awaiting results before deciding if it will challenge Australia over claims officials paid people smugglers to return to Indonesian waters

Inquiry into Australia-smuggler payment pending

World Bulletin / News Desk

 Indonesia says it is awaiting results of its own investigation before deciding if it will challenge Australia over allegations that the country’s officials paid people smugglers to return to Indonesian waters.

When contacted by text message Friday, Indonesia's foreign affairs spokesperson Arrmanatha Nasir told Anadolu Agency that they were waiting for their inquiry to conclude.

"Please wait. We will reply soon," Nasir responded.

He gave no response to questions asking exactly when the inquiry would conclude.

Nasir had told Anadolu Agency Thursday that they had received information that two boats carrying six crew and 65 illegal migrants entered Australian waters in May. He expressed concern over allegations that “each of the crew was paid $5000” to leave the country’s waters.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported Wednesday that the allegedly returned boat -- containing 65 Bangladeshis, Sri Lankans and Rohingya Muslims including a pregnant woman and children -- was intercepted by Australian navy and customs officials in late May.

Migrants who were on board said the crew were also supplied with two new boats to transport them back to Indonesia. 

"We were given money [by Australia], but only the crew of the boats received it," Kayuran -- a Sri Lankan -- told Kompas.com on Wednesday from a hotel in Kupang City in Rote island, where the migrants have since been detained.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Haziran 2015, 12:11
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