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Small plane landed in Merauke without permission

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 6, 2008) – Five Torres Strait residents of Australia, detained in Papua are liable for jail sentences of between five and 12 years for illegally entering the Indonesia province in an aeroplane more than two weeks ago.

The Jakarta Post reports that the case has been given to the Merauke District-Attorney office in Papua for prosecution.

Police investigators have completed their examination of the case and have filed a report to the attorney’s office.

The Australians claimed to be tourists but did not have the appropriate visa permits.

The penalty for this offence is up to seven years in prison while the pilot faces up to 12 years for breaking the laws on immigration and aviation.

Indonesian authorites say the Australians landed in Merauke on September 12 without visas and their plane had no flight clearance or security approval documents.

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