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Jakarta Post

Police uncover networks that trafficked 1,200 domestic workers to Syria, Morocco

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, April 9, 2019   /   07:53 pm
Police uncover networks that trafficked 1,200 domestic workers to Syria, Morocco Rescued: Seven women migrant workers from West Nusa Tenggara, who were rescued from a human trafficking network, pose for a picture together. (Courtesy of the West Nusa Tenggara Police/File)

The National Police’s criminal investigation body has announced that it has uncovered four human trafficking networks that sent an estimated 1,200 Indonesians to work in Syria, Turkey, Morocco and Saudi Arabia.

Criminal investigation director Brig. Gen. Herry Rudolf Nahak said on Tuesday at the police headquarters in Jakarta that two suspects, Mutiara and Farhan, had been arrested for reportedly trafficking people from West Nusa Tenggara and Jakarta to Morocco. The two reportedly sent their victims from Sumbawa in West Nusa Tenggara to Jakarta, before sending them to Malaysia via Batam, Riau Islands. From Malaysia the victims were sent to Morocco.

“These migrant Indonesian workers realized that they had been duped after they were forced to suffer many abuses including violence, rape and unpaid salaries. They ran away and reported their cases to the embassies or consulate general offices,” said Herry as quoted by Antara news agency.

Separately, the police also arrested two people who had reportedly trafficked victims to Turkey. The suspects, Erna Rachmawati and Saleha, also recruited hopeful migrant workers from West Nusa Tenggara and Jakarta.

Another suspect working for a Syria-based human trafficking network, Muhammad Abdul Halim, alias Erlangga, was arrested in Tangerang, Banten. He recruited workers from Tangerang and had worked for the network since 2014.

Herry said three suspects who had allegedly sent domestic workers to Saudi Arabia had also been arrested. They were identified as Ethiopian nationals Faisal Hussein Saeed and Abdalla Ibrahim and Indonesian Neneng Susilawati.

“Faisal and Abdalla are refugees,” Herry said. They kept victims in an apartment before sending them abroad. They also had employees, the officer added.

All four networks promised the victims jobs as domestic workers with high salaries. In total, Herry said the networks had trafficked about 1,200 people since 2014, kompas.com reported.

The police will charge the eight suspects under articles 4 and 10 of the Human Trafficking Law, which carry a maximum punishment of 15 years in prison.