14 Iranians stranded in waters near W Aceh

Meulaboh, Aceh Local fishermen in West Aceh district, Aceh Province located 14 Iranian nationals whose boat was stranded in Hindia Ocean, near Meulaboh city, Tuesday, because of a broken oil pump, an official said here Tuesday.

"The boat had shut down at the 04 26' 616 N 064 22' 488 E coordinates on Maldives waters, and was adrift in Meulaboh waters (in West Aceh district), with 15 mil distances to the nearest land," the Meulaboh Immigration Office's Head of Technology, Information, and Communication, Adi Hari Pianto said, citing they had been in the middle of ocean since Monday, January 27.

The boat which carried no permits, documents, or a flag, was tugged by a local motorboat to the Meulaboh Port which is situated at 04 7' 39.306" N 96 8' 15.2088 E. The broken vessel will be checked and repaired by the port's mechanics, Pianto added.

The 14 Iranian nationals were identified as Lal Muhammad, Annar, Al Abbas, Abdullah, Mohammad Rafiq, Abdul Nasir, Abdullah Fariziq, Jawi, Ismail, Muhammad Rafiq, Nathim, Adam, Syahaqi, and Amir Muhammad, according to the immigration's initial probe.

However, the Indonesian authorities will contact their counterparts at the Embassy of Iran to confirm the identities of the nationals, he remarked.

Meanwhile, the Meulaboh Immigration Office is still checking their travel documents to Indonesia, Pianto said.

Apart from the embassy, the Meulaboh Immigration Office will also request support from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for an interpreter, as none of the local officers speaks Persian. With an interpreter, the immigration offices hope to glean more information on the 14 Iranian nationals, Pianto said.

Source: Antara News

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