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Police name five suspects for alleged trafficking of Rohingya refugees

Jakarta Post - October 29, 2020

News Desk, Jakarta – The Aceh Police have named five suspects for allegedly trafficking Rohingya refugees to Indonesia in June.

The suspects were identified as two fishermen from East Aceh regency, a woman from Medan in North Sumatra and two people of Rohingya ethnicity, as revealed by Aceh Police general crimes unit chief Sr. Comr. Sony Sanjaya during a recent press briefing.

The two fishermen were tasked with renting a small boat and picking up dozens of refugees from a large ship in the middle of the sea. The vessel initially brought around 900 refugees, the police claimed.

"They put Rohingya refugees on a smaller ship which later broke," Sony said on Tuesday, as quoted by kompas.com. Local fisherman later rescued the 94 refugees in the waters of North Aceh regency on June 24.

Meanwhile, the female suspect from Medan was paid by the suspects of Rohingya ethnicity to pick up three refugees from a camp in Lhokseumawe, Aceh.

"The refugees were going to be taken to Medan, before being eventually transported to Malaysia," Sony said. He added that the police were still looking for the two other suspects who allegedly acted as middlemen in the trafficking.

In June, three Indonesian fishermen rescued 94 foreign nationals who were believed to be Rohingya refugees from a sinking cargo ship in the waters of North Aceh. They attempted to transport the group to Kuala Tanah Jambo Aye in Seunuddon district in the regency, but their engine was broken.

They were rescued by other fishermen after traditional fishing community, Panglima Laot, received reports about them. (ggq)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/10/29/police-name-five-suspects-for-alleged-trafficking-of-rohingya-refugees.htm