Police crack down on illegal foreign workers

Abdul Khalik
The Jakarta Post /Jakarta

Recent raids conducted by city police and the immigration office have revealed thousands of foreigners staying in the capital either without proper permits or with expired permits.

Jakarta Police spokesman I Ketut Untung Yoga Ana said that many foreign citizens from China and several other Asian countries, Africa and Europe were working or staying in the country without proper working permits or with expired visas.

"We have launched checks on several apartments and residential areas across the city and we have found many foreigners staying here with expired permits, or even with no permit at all," Ketut told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

Starting early this month, police have launched massive searches in many areas of the capital to locate terror suspects, including fugitive Malaysian bomber Noordin M. Top.

Noordin, together with another Malaysian Azahari bin Husin, have been accused of being behind a series of bomb attacks across the country, including the 2002 Bali bombings, which killed 202 people, the 2003 JW Marriott Hotel attack, which claimed 12 lives, the 2004 bombing outside the Australian Embassy that killed 10 people, and the Oct. 1 Bali attacks, which killed 23 people, including three suicide bombers.

Azahari was shot by police during a raid at his hide-out in Batu, East Java, last Nov. 7, while Noordin is still at large.

Ketut said that city police have handed over foreigners caught without permits to the immigration office to be deported.

He also said that many foreign citizens in Jakarta have misused their permits to work in Indonesia.

"Many women from mainland China have been expelled because they worked as prostitutes while here on tourist visas," he said.

In the past three months, city police have arrested over 500 Chinese women who were either without work permits or who were working as prostitutes.

Immigration office spokesman Supriatna Anwar confirmed that his office had found many document violations by foreign citizens during joint operations with city police.

According to data provided by the immigration office, at least 1,901 foreigners have been deported this year because of misuse of stay permits. There are approximately 42,000 foreign citizens living in Jakarta alone.

The government announced last week that it would limit permit allocations for young women from China and for citizens of Nigeria as records showed that many citizens from these countries worked as prostitutes or drug dealers.

Meanwhile, an official at the Jakarta Population and Civil Registration Agency, Edison Sianturi, said on Monday that many foreign citizens were not registered with his office as they either came to Indonesia illegally or did not renew their permits.

He said that with number of foreigners entering the country and capital, terrorists, prostitutes, drug dealers and other criminals could easily hide among ordinary visitors.
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