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Jakarta Post

'€˜Slave'€™ factory owner faces 20 years in prison

  • Mustaqim Adamrah and Multa Fidrus

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta/ Tangerang   /   Fri, May 10, 2013   /  11:24 am
'€˜Slave'€™ factory owner faces 20 years in prison Breaking the silence: Two workers who became victims of the abuse, Nuryana (second left) and Ramlan (second right), attend a press conference at the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) headquarters in Central Jakarta on Wednesday. (JP/R. Berto Wedhatama) (second left) and Ramlan (second right), attend a press conference at the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) headquarters in Central Jakarta on Wednesday. (JP/R. Berto Wedhatama)

Breaking the silence: Two workers who became victims of the abuse, Nuryana (second left) and Ramlan (second right), attend a press conference at the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) headquarters in Central Jakarta on Wednesday. (JP/R. Berto Wedhatama)

Tangerang kitchenware factory owner Yuki Irawan and the firm'€™s four foremen, who all allegedly deprived 34 workers and tortured them, are facing 20 years in prison, following additional charges.

Tangerang regency Police detectives chief Comr. Shinto Silitonga said on Thursday that the police had prepared four additional charges for the five suspects.

They have been charged with Article 24 of the 1984 Industry Law for allegedly operating without obtaining an Industrial Registration Notice or Industrial License; Article 88 of the 2002 Child Protection Law for allegedly employing minors; Article 21 of the 2007 Human Trafficking Law for allegedly recruiting, deceiving and exploiting workers under threats or violence for economic gains; and Article 372 of the Criminal Code for allegedly committing fraud, with the suspects seizing the belongings of workers and leaving some, if not all, unpaid.

Those charges, in addition to two previous charges '€” liberty deprivation and torture '€” were included in the suspects'€™ dossier.

'€œThe suspects have been charged with laws that carry a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison. These laws stipulate different amount of fines,'€ Shinto told The Jakarta Post.

'€œMeanwhile, the investigation into violations related to manpower is being carried out by civil service investigators from the local Manpower Agency.'€

In response to the legal proceedings, Tangerang Regent Ahmed Zaki Iskandar Zulkarnaen said the regency Manpower Agency and the Manpower and Transmigration Ministry were working on separate dossiers as the suspects had allegedly violated a number of manpower-related laws.

'€œWe expect to finish our dossier and submit it to state prosecutors later this week,'€ he said on Wednesday.

He also said he would hand down punishments to all regency officials found guilty in the case.

As many as 34 workers, from Lampung and Cianjur in West Java, were freed late on May 3 from the factory in Bayur Opak kampung, East Sepatan district, Tangerang regency, where they experienced torturous working hours and treatment meted out to them by their employer.

The workers claimed that they were forced to work 18 hours with only two meals a day without pay despite being promised a Rp 600,000 (US$62) monthly wage.

Their cell phones, clothes and wallets were confiscated before starting work and they were placed in a 6-by-8 meter room with no windows and shared a single bathroom.

Some workers said that they were crammed into a single bedroom where they had to rest after a long day at work, while others told horrific details about their incarceration, such as using detergent to bathe themselves.

Following the liberation of the workers, the police have named five suspects, while two others are still at large.

An Indonesian Military (TNI) member and two police officers were allegedly involved in the case.

Shinto said the police had questioned those officers, but have yet to conclude anything.

'€œOur officers will go to Cianjur and Lampung to further investigate the alleged involvement of the military and police personnel,'€ he said.

'€œWe still need to continue questioning the workers who said they had been intimidated and threatened by these officers.'€

The police are also investigating the possible involvement of the village head, Mursan, who happens to be Yuki'€™s brother-in-law. (hrl)

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