Jakarta – The National Police have named three people as suspects in a case of alleged human trafficking on Chinese-flagged fishing vessel Lu Qing Yuan Yu 901.
The case came to light after two Indonesian crewmen jumped off the vessel into the Malacca strait earlier this month because they could no longer stand the mistreatment on board.
"We have named three suspects, SF, HA and MHY," Riau Islands Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Harry Goldenhardt said in a written statement on Tuesday, as quoted by kompas.com.
SF was apprehended in his house in Cileungsi district in Bogor regency, West Java, on Thursday while HA was arrested in North Jakarta on Friday and MHY in Bekasi city, West Java, on Saturday.
The three were charged with violating articles 2, 4 and 10 of Law No. 21/2007 on the eradication of human trafficking.
Harry said the suspects recruited Andri Juniansyah and Reynalfi, the crewmen who jumped overboard, to work as factory workers in South Korea and lured them with promises of monthly salaries ranging from Rp 25 million (US$1,775) to 50 million. The victims were also required to pay a registration fee of Rp 50 million.
Instead, Andri and Reynalfi were employed as crew members of Lu Qing Yuan Yu 901 and endured poor working conditions, threats and physical abuse all while receiving no wages for months.
Following the interrogation of the three suspects, the police also apprehended four other people who allegedly made fake training certificates for the crewmen.
The four men, identified as DT, RAS, SY and ST, were taken into custody by the North Jakarta police and charged with forgery.
Harry added that the crewmen were registered to the Chinese vessel by placement company PT Mandiri Tunggal Bahari, whose two commissioners have previously been named suspects in another case of mistreatment on Chinese vessel Lu Qing Yuan Yu 623.
In May, a video appeared on Facebook showing a group of sailors on the Lu Qing Yuan Yu 623 throwing the body of an Indonesian sailor into the sea. Prior to that, there was public outrage at the death of four Indonesian sailors registered to another Chinese fishing ship.
According to data from Destructive Fishing Watch (DFW), at least 30 Indonesian crewmen were victims of alleged exploitation aboard Chinese fishing vessels between November 2019 and June 2020, seven of whom died while three others have gone missing. (aly)