The Jakarta Post
The government is investigating reports that around 300 Indonesian citizens seeking to work in Saudi Arabia have been locked up in Riyadh, the largest city in the country.
The Foreign Ministry is still working with the Saudi Arabian Police to process the reports, an official has said.
“We received reports two weeks ago that around 300 Indonesian citizens seeking to work in Saudi Arabia had been locked up. Our Indonesian Embassy has coordinated with police authorities there to investigate the matter,” said the ministry’s director for the protection of Indonesian nationals and entities abroad, Lalu Muhammad Iqbal.
He was speaking after the close of a coordination meeting for the protection of Indonesian citizens in Mataram on Friday.
Iqbal said that most of the 300 Indonesians detained were from West Nusa Tenggara.
Based on information received by the Foreign Ministry, Iqbal said, the 300 people were sent to Saudi Arabia by a recruitment company. They had been locked up in a temporary shelter provided by the company for Indonesian migrant workers.
Reports also revealed that in the shelter, the Indonesian citizens had suffered abuse, Iqbal said. “There are several issues that have developed concerning their condition, including information that some of them had been killed and their bodies thrown away. I cannot yet give you the details because the investigation is still in process,” said Iqbal.
It was suspected that they were victims of a transnational human trafficking network, he added. (ebf)