A boat carrying dozens of immigrants from Afghanistan and Iran sank early Saturday off the coast of Cikalong in Tasikmalaya, West Java, according to an official.
West Java Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Martinus Sitompul said that all those aboard were all currently safe.
“The police have arrested 49 allegedly illegal immigrants.
They said they were Afghani and Iranian nationals,” Martinus said Saturday in Bandung, West Java.
The immigrants – comprising 37 men, six women and six children – claimed that their trip was arranged by a 35-year-old Iranian woman who was using a visa and a passport issued to Bahay Ghoampour.
Preliminary investigation suggested that the immigrants were aided by seven agents in East Nusa Tenggara.
“They were headed to Australia,” Martinus said.
The immigrants were rescued by fishermen who saw the boat sinking about a mile off shore.
Tasikmalaya fishermen’s association chairman Deddi Mulyadi said: “At that time, the fishermen saw them jumping out of the boat.
The depth of the sea reached 75 meters there.”
The passengers were taken to Cipatujah by the police and the fishermen using seven boats, Deddi added.