The Algerian migrant who tried to swim over 370 miles from East Timor to Australia is to be deported back to North Africa once his documents have been processed.
Earlier this month, Haminoumna Abdul Rahman was found adrift in the Timor Sea by fishermen after reportedly attempting to swim to Australia from East Timor, or Timor-Leste, a Southeast Asian nation occupying half the island of Timor in the Timor Sea located north of the Australian city of Darwin.
Local media said the migrant is currently being held by the Atambua Immigration Office in the Indonesian regency of Belu close to the border with East Timor on the same island.
An immigration spokesperson told local media: “We are corresponding with the Algerian Embassy in Jakarta to return Abdel Rahman to Algeria. Our letter has been responded to by the Algerian ambassador and Abdel Rahman’s lost citizenship documents are now being processed.”
The spokesperson confirmed that Abdel Rahman was being detained by the immigration authorities because he entered Indonesian territory without valid documentation.
The statement added: “The Algerian man will be detained there for a month before being deported or transferred to the immigration detention centre in Kupang [Indonesian city].”
Abdel Rahman made the headlines when he reportedly tried to swim to Australia while fleeing East Timor after his visa had expired and all his cash had gone.
The immigration office said he set off from Suai Beach at around 6pm after throwing away his documents.
During a period of stormy weather, he was soon carried off by huge waves and fell adrift in the Timor Sea.
After two days of swimming, he was reportedly rescued by fishermen on 12th January and brought to the Indonesian regency of Malaka where the waters border Indonesia, Timor Leste and Australia.
Meanwhile, the local police said they are investigating Abdel Rahman’s claims that he was swimming to Australia as they have now received a tip-off that he had stowed away on a ship before being thrown overboard when it was discovered he could not pay for the journey.
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