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JAKARTA: The Indonesian police foiled an attempt to traffic 24 migrant workers to neighbouring Malaysia in the western province of North Sumatra, the provincial police said.

North Sumatra police spokesman Hadi Wahyudi told local media on Monday that the 24 migrant workers were intercepted by the police’s marine unit in the waters of Labu Beach in the regency of Deli Serdang on Saturday.

According to him, the workers from provinces like East Nusa Tenggara, Bengkulu and Aceh, etc., were allegedly planning to depart to Malaysia without proper documentation.

Officers also arrested five crew of the boat, an agent and a trip coordinator, said Wahyudi, adding that officers will cooperate with the country’s Agency for the Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers to investigate the case.

Malaysia is one of the foreign countries that employ a large number of Indonesian migrant workers, and unrecorded illegal entry of Indonesian workers into the Southeast Asian country is frequently reported.