Four more people have been charged by Indonesian police for allegedly torturing to death an Indonesian crew member who was found in a freezer of a Chinese fishing vessel.
According to Indonesian police, the four receiving charges are executives at Indonesian recruitment agencies that hire locals to work on Chinese ships.
Six recruiting agency bosses are now facing human-trafficking charges, including allegations of lying to Indonesians working aboard Chinese fishing vessels, claiming they would be working overseas as waiters or staff in retail stores. Among them is a Chinese supervisor on the Lu Huang Yuan Yu 118 vessel, who has been charged with the death of 20-year-old Hasan Apriadi’s last month, as well as for assaulting other Indonesian crew.
“The suspects engaged in illegal recruitment and deceived the victims with false promises,” said Director of the General Crimes Unit for Indonesia’s Riau Islands province, Arie Dharmanto.
Charges for consciously putting the crew members at risk are also being handed down, which can lead to a maximum life sentence if found guilty.
Anti-trafficking experts said the fishing industry is filled with forced labour. Non-payment of salary, overworking, violence, and even death are known to occur on vessels that exploit workers. Southeast Asia is said to be a major source of such labour as recruiters target poor and uneducated people with false promises of good wages.
Earlier this month, two Chinese boats were seized in the Malacca Straits after authorities received information that a crew member had died on one of the vessels. Apriadi’s frozen body was found and, subsequently, Chinese national Song Chuanyun was arrested.
According to authorities, the Indonesian man was tortured, deprived of food and water for days, and was forced to work despite being ill until his death.
Source: Yahoo News