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Jakarta Post

Police name three suspects for alleged trafficking of Indonesian sailors

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, May 18, 2020   /   03:07 pm
Police name three suspects for alleged trafficking of Indonesian sailors Indonesian sailors who worked aboard Chinese fishing vessel Long Xing 629 arrive in Jakarta on May 8. (Antara/Hasnugara)

The police have announced three suspects for human trafficking aboard Chinese fishing ship Long Xing 629. The case gained attention in Indonesia after the deaths of four Indonesian crew members.

The three suspects are from manning agencies in Indonesia. They are identified as W from PT APJ in Bekasi, West Java, F from PT LPB in Tegal, Central Java, and J from PT SMG in Pemalang, Central Java.

“The National Police’s human trafficking task force has conducted a preliminary hearing and has concluded that the three are suspects of human trafficking with the purpose of exploitation. The modus operandi is promising salary and work placement but with unclear working hours,” said National Police’s Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim) chief, Gen. Comr. Listyo Sigit Prabowo, in a statement on Sunday.

Last week, the police questioned 14 crew members who had survived and had returned to Indonesia.

Read also: Indonesia reports alleged abuse in fishing industry to UN Human Rights Council

“We found the evidence from the 14 crewmen’s testimonies and other related documents,” said Bareskrim’s general crime subdirectorate head (III), Comr. John W Hutagalung, as quoted by kompas.com on Thursday.

“There is an allegation of human trafficking through sending the victims to work with the purpose of exploitation,” said John.

The case is now being investigated further. The police are questioning witnesses, including the immigration officials who issued the crew members’ passports.

Earlier this month, a video aired by South Korea’s Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) showed a group of men throwing an orange body bag, which was believed to contain the dead body of an Indonesian crew member, off a fishing vessel.

Read also: Parents of deceased Indonesian sailor demands justice

MBC reported that four Indonesian sailors registered to Long Xing 629 had died after reportedly enduring poor working conditions. Two unidentified Indonesian sailors told MBC that crew members were only allowed to take short breaks every six hours, had almost no time to sleep and were made to drink filtered seawater. 

The Indonesian government has officially asked the United Nations Human Rights Council to address human rights violations in the fishing industry. (asp)