Indonesia accuses ExxonMobil of smuggling expatriates

September 29th, 2008 - 2:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Jakarta, Sep 29 (Xinhua) Indonesia’s manpower and transmigration ministry has accused American energy giant ExxonMobil of illegally employing expatriates through its subsidiary Mobile Cepu Ltd (MCL) at its oil and gas fields in East Java province, media reports said Monday. Deputy head of the provincial manpower and transmigration service of the ministry, named only Setiadjit, made the accusation following an investigation into illegal foreign workers at the company’s mining site of Cepu Block located in the province’s Bojonegoro regency.

“We became suspicious when all members of the joint team from the Bojonegoro regency administration were denied access to the mining site. The joint team was also prevented from raiding the expatriate houses,” Setiadjit was quoted by the Jakarta Post as saying.

“MCL also cannot show all documents relevant to expatriates employed at the company. Although the expatriates are employed by its subsidiaries, ExxonMobil or MCL should take responsibility for the labour and immigration violations,” he said.

The official said ExxonMobil had to hand in all documentation by Oct 13 or a complaint would be filed to the police for further investigation.

However, Deva Rachman, spokesperson for ExxonMobil, denied the accusation, saying expatriates employed by the company for its oil and gas exploration in Central and East Java had obtained work permits and visas from the Indonesian authorities and that all relevant data had been handed over to local manpower authorities.

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