BANTEN, October 11, 2009 (AFP) – Indonesia detained about 260 Sri Lankan migrants in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra while attempting to make their way by wooden boat to Australia, police said Sunday. Indonesia is a key staging point for people smugglers bringing Afghans and other nationals for a perilous onward sea journey to Australia. Police and the Indonesian Navy had intercepted the boat in the waters off Krakatoa island at around dawn, Banten Sea Police director Alex Fauzi Rasad told reporters.
“The migrants, including women and children, had set off from (the West Kalimantan province of) Pontianak on October 6 and were heading to Christmas Island,” in the Indian Ocean off the Australian mainland, he added.
“We’re now taking the boat to port and will investigate the case,” Rasad said.