Mon, 08 Mar 1999

Illegal 'Chinese' immigrant detained

SORONG, Irian Jaya: The immigrant office here has detained an illegal immigrant, allegedly from mainland China, Antara reported on Saturday.

Identified as Lie Ziusieng, 33, the immigrant found on board state-owned PT Pelni's MV Rinjani passenger ship last week -- after it arrived from riot-torn Ambon city -- said he was born in Yihantali in China, immigration office head A.T. Sinaga said.

The Chinese Embassy in Jakarta was contacted but reportedly denied Lie was a Chinese citizen.

Lie has been quarantined at the immigrant office. He will soon be flown to Jakarta and taken to the Chinese Embassy.

Sinaga said Lie's actions indicated he might be mentally disturbed. He smashed a telephone offered to him to call the Chinese Embassy. He also said that Lie kept silent even though the local immigration officers had tried to communicate with him through an interpreter.