TULUNGAGUN, INDONESIA — A 66-year-old Singaporean was apprehended and deported for immigration violations in Indonesia after it was uncovered that for the past 12 years, he held an Indonesian Identity Card and worked as an English lecturer at a private university in Tulungagung.
The Head of the Immigration Office, Class II Non-Immigration Examination Place at Blitar, Arief Yudistira, noted that the violations were exposed when the Singaporean, Mohtar bin Bakri attempted to process travel documents for overseas travel.
“Officers from the Immigration Office noticed several irregularities during the interview with Mohtar. We then launched a further investigation,” Arief stated at a press conference in Blitar, East Java, on Monday (19 Jun).
After a comprehensive investigation, Mohtar conceded that he still held Singaporean citizenship. This confession was quickly forwarded to the Singaporean Embassy, which confirmed Mohtar’s Singaporean citizenship, corroborating the data from the General Directorate of General Legal Administration of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights. Mohtar had never applied for an Indonesian citizenship transfer.
Based on the certificate issued by the relevant authorities in Singapore, it was confirmed that Mohtar was born in Singapore’s Kampong Pachitan in September 1956, which is the current Kembangan.
“Interestingly, he was born in Pacithan, not Pacitan, Indonesia, but Pacithan, Singapore,” Arief further added.
Arief also revealed that over the years, Mohtar had entered and exited Indonesia 10 times since 1984. In 1998, he returned to Indonesia to pursue his undergraduate studies at Gajayana University in Malang, East Java, a journey that lasted until 2006.
Mohtar is said to have unlawfully secured Indonesian identification documents, including the Identity Card, Family Card, and birth certificate.
“On these documents, Mohtar’s birthplace was listed as Pacitan in February 1973, making him appear 17 years younger than his actual age,” Arief explained.
Arief stressed that despite Mohtar’s marriage to a resident of Tulungagung Regency, he never gained legitimate Indonesian citizenship as per Law Number 12 of 2006.
He clarified that all the identification documents were issued by the Population and Civil Registration Office (Dispendukcapil) of Tulungagung Regency.
The Head of Dispendukcapil of Tulungagung Regency, Nina Hartiani, shed light on how Mohtar had changed his name to Yatno.
“We traced his whereabouts to the villages of Tunggulsari, Ngunut, and Gilang. He used to live there,” Nina shared.
Mohtar was last known to be residing in the Purimas Housing Complex, Tunggulsari Village, Kedungwaru Subdistrict. Nina further clarified that Yatno had an Identity Card, Family Card, and birth certificate issued in 2008 before the name change. He was registered as born in Pacitan Regency, East Java.
Later, Yatno petitioned for an identity change through the Tulungagung District Court, for his new name to be Mohtar. Following the court’s approval, Mohtar submitted a request for a change of identity to Dispendukcapil of Tulungagung Regency.
“As directed by the court decision, our department, Dispendukcapil, issued the identification documents. If we hadn’t, we would have been in violation,” Nina stated.
Dispendukcapil submitted a request to delete the population data under the name of Yatno to the Directorate General of Population Administration of the Ministry of Home Affairs on 7 June. They also withdrew the Identity Card, Family Card, and birth certificate under the name of Mohtar.
“We now have the new documents stored. We will coordinate the subsequent procedures,” concluded Nina.
As Yatno, Mohtar worked as an English lecturer for 11 years at Bhineka PGRI University (UBHI) in Tulungagung and as a visiting lecturer at Sayyid Ali Rahmatullah State Islamic University (UIN SATU) in Tulungagung.
According to the Blitar immigration authorities, Mohtar has applied for a passport three times to travel abroad since obtaining Indonesian identification documents. One of his trips was to the Caribbean Islands for professional reasons. It’s believed that this time, Mohtar planned to travel to Singapore to manage his assets there.
On Thursday (22 Jun), the East Java Regional Office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights deported Mohtar. The deportation process was conducted by immigration officers from Blitar.
They arrived at Terminal 2 of Juanda International Airport in Surabaya around 10:30 am WIB. Mohtar was then flown to Singapore on a Jetstar flight.
The deportation process proceeded smoothly and in compliance with regulations. Mohtar covered the airfare himself and acted as the sponsor.
“Mohtar paid for his own return ticket to Singapore. We merely accompanied him to Juanda International Airport and ensured his return to his home country,” said Hendro Tri Prasetyo, Head of the Immigration Division at the East Java Regional Office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights.”