ICA deports Indonesian duo over plans to travel to Syria

ICA deports Indonesian duo over plans to travel to Syria
An Islamic State flag. Reuters file photo
They were allegedly planning to join Islamic State in the Middle Eastern country
Published: 6:57 PM, December 29, 2016
Updated: 10:57 PM, December 29, 2016

SINGAPORE — Two Indonesians have been deported from the Republic after they were found to be planning to travel to Syria via Singapore.

The two Indonesians were identified only as MNA, a 40-year-old man who lives in Batam, and SI, a 40-year-old woman who was born in West Java, reported The Jakarta Post on Thursday (Dec 29). They were allegedly planning to join Islamic State (IS).

The Jakarta Post added that Singapore’s Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) deported the duo on Tuesday to Batam, the Riau Islands, under security escort.

Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs  (MHA) on Thursday confirmed the deportation. An MHA spokesperson said the “two Indonesians were deported to Indonesia after it was established that one of them intended to travel to Syria via Singapore with the assistance of the second individual. Singapore authorities informed their Indonesian counterparts before the deportation”.

Riau Islands police spokesperson Saptono Erlangga told the Post that the two Indonesians had been handed over to the police.

“The Batam police, together with the Immigration Office, are now investigating the two individuals,” he said.

MNA and SI were reported to have arrived in Singapore from Batam using the speedboat service, Queens Star Sindo, on Monday afternoon.

The two Indonesians were interrogated during a security inspection at the immigration checkpoint at HarbourFront Centre in Singapore.

“During the interrogation, they admitted they were planning to depart for Syria. Regarding whether they intended to join IS, we still need to carry out an intensive examination,” Mr Erlangga told the newspaper.
MNA and SI were deported back to Batam after an almost 24-hour interrogation. 

The two are the latest among several Indonesians who have been deported from Singapore for allegedly trying to join IS militants in Syria.

ln February, four male Indonesians  from Java, aged between 15 and 29, were deported from Singapore while allegedly en route to Syria to join IS. 

The four are believed to be followers of a radical Indonesian ideologue who is currently serving time in jail for terrorism.