Jakarta – Malaysian authorities along with officials from the Indonesian Consulate General in Kuching, Sarawak, rescued eight Indonesian migrant workers who were held captive by their recruiting agency last week.
"We carried out the rescue operation on Saturday at around 7 p.m. along with Miri Police," Yonny Tri Prayitno, Indonesian consul general in Kuching, said on Monday.
All of the rescued migrant workers were females aged 35 to 58 years old.
Authorities have charged the agency's boss, a female resident of Miri city, with human trafficking.
On Nov. 5, the Indonesian Consulate General in Kuching received information about alleged abuse and illegal confinement of 14 female Indonesian migrant workers in Miri from Sambas Indonesian Migrant Workers Union (SBMI).
"We immediately communicated with related agencies and collected information about the victims. Afterward, we reported the case to the police in Sarawak and Miri," the consulate general wrote in a statement.
However, during a raid into the recruiting agency's office, authorities only found eight migrant workers at the location. The suspect claimed that the remaining three migrant workers had been sent back to Indonesia, the statement read.
The 14 migrant workers comprised two residents of Pontianak in West Kalimantan, seven West Java residents from Bandung, Sukabumi, Karawang, Indramayu, Cianjur and Purwakarta, two Banten residents, one East Java resident, and one resident of Flores in West Nusa Tenggara.
The eight migrant workers are currently in Miri Police custody for questioning.
"We'll continue to coordinate with Miri Police and monitor the case's legal proceedings," Yonny said as quoted by kompas.com. "We'll also protect the eight migrant workers and help them return to Indonesia."