Mon, 10 Jan 2000

Sailors nabbed for illegal trip

DENPASAR, Bali: An Indonesian ship with eight Iranians and 53 Iraqis, including 16 children, on board, drifted ashore here following a mechanical failure around 20 miles off the coast of Jimbaran.

"The ship drifted ashore on Jan. 4 and was found by local fisherman," commander of the Benoa naval base, Capt. Dadiek Surarto, said last week as quoted by Antara.

The local naval base deployed a rescue team to bring the passengers to land and hauled the ship, which came from East Java, to Benoa port.

Dadiek said he suspected the ship was smuggling the passengers to Australia because its crew is refusing to show the ship's documents and to name its captain.

The four crew members, identified as Andhys, 24, and Asdar, 21, from Southeast Sulawesi; and Subairi, 33 and Kadar, 32, from Muncar in East Java, were detained at the local naval base. The foreigners were handed over to the provincial immigration office. (04)