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Jakarta Post

Riau Islands Police probe cause of death, alleged smuggling of three deceased sailors working on Chinese vessel

  • Fadli

    The Jakarta Post

Batam   /   Sat, August 15, 2020   /   02:45 pm
Riau Islands Police probe cause of death, alleged smuggling of three deceased sailors working on Chinese vessel Riau Islands Police personnel speak at a press conference on an investigation into the deaths of three Indonesian sailors working on a Chinese vessel on Friday. (JP/Fadli)

The Riau Islands Police have launched an investigation into the deaths of three Indonesian fishermen who worked on Chinese fishing ship Fu Yuan Yu 829, suspecting that the bodies were illegally returned to Indonesia through Batam city.

The case came to light after the police received a tip on Wednesday about three bodies being held in a wooden boat at Batu Ampar Port in Batam.

The boat had reportedly transported the bodies from the Fu Yuan Yu 829 in the Outer Port Limit (OPL) waters between Indonesia and Singapore.

“We then found the bodies in the BP Batam Hospital’s mortuary and identified them,” Riau Islands Police Criminal Investigation Directorate head Sr. Comr. Arie Darmanto told The Jakarta Post on Friday.

The three bodies have been identified as 23-year-old Dicky Arya Nugraha from Donggala regency in South Sulawesi, 22-year-old Syaban and 26-year-old Musnan, both from Bireun regency in Aceh.

Read also: Sailors’ deaths highlight lack of legal protections for migrant workers

They started working on the vessel in October 2019 and reportedly died of an illness on July 23 in Chinese waters. However, local police have yet to conclude the cause of death.

“We have asked the hospital to perform an autopsy to ascertain the cause of the death,” Arie said.

The police have also arrested two recruiting agency bosses and charged them under human trafficking laws and for allegedly sending dead bodies to Indonesia without permits.

“The victim’s bodies entered Indonesia without permits and the right procedure,” Arie added.

Riau Islands Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Harry Goldenhart said his office would arrange to contact the Chinese government to report the deaths. (aly)