Officers in Baubau City detained the 19 Sri Lanka while they were living in homes of residents in the village of Lipu, kompas.com reported.
The Immigration Office suspects that the Sri Lankans arrived in Indonesia on a tourist visa and moved to homes located in deserted areas.
The Sri Lankans had been found to be staying at the homes over the past three days instead of a hotel.
However the Sri Lankans had claimed they had obtained a residence permit in Indonesia.
The passports of the 19 Sri Lankans were confiscated for further investigation. (Colombo Gazette)