Six Singaporeans briefly detained in Batam during a raid last weekend

Six Singaporeans were among 32 foreigners arrested by Indonesian authorities during random raids on nightspots in Batam last weekend.

The Jakarta Post reported that among those who were detained during the raid on bars in Kampung Bule, six were Singaporean military personnel who could not show their passports or any travel papers.

Kampung Bule is an area which is usually frequented by foreigners.

Batam Immigration Office head Teguh Prayitno said that the joint raid involving the Indonesian military and public order agency staff was part of an operation to control ‘social problems’.

Batam Immigration officials show copies of the passports of 10 Chinese and Vietnamese citizens arrested for allegedly working as sex workers in Batam, Riau Islands, in a press conference / photo: The Jakarta Post

“We have deported those that were caught during the raid,” Mr Prayitno said.

A total of 72 people, including 40 Indonesians, were detained for failing to show proper ID during the raid. Seven alleged Philippine sex workers were also detained at a bar.

The raid started on Saturday (22 April) and ended in the early hours of Sunday.

The Straits Times reported Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), replying to queries said, “We understand that four Singaporean tourists in Batam were initially unable to produce their passports during a check by the local authorities on 22 April 2017 as they had left their passports in the hotel.”

“They were allowed to return to Singapore with no charges pressed after they produced their passports. The Singapore Consulate in Batam provided the necessary consular assistance to the Singaporeans,” a spokesman from the ministry said.

Indonesian news net reported, Navy Major Joko Hary Mulyono, detachment commander of Military Police of the Indonesian Navy said that 37 foreigners and Singaporean soldiers were detained temporarily. reported that of the six Singaporeans, three are students from Singapore’s shipping school. The other three have been following Military Army in Singapore and working in military institutions as civil servants.

“Their cards are like military’s, but after being traced, they were only civilian workers in military institutions,” said Joko.

Another local news, Gurindam TV, posted the raid on its Facebook.

Yudi Kurnain, a Batam Legislative Council member, did not agree with the way the raid was conducted, he said, “They should conduct immigration checks in a humane way, not through such repressive actions.”