Seven people have been arrested by the Indonesian police for their alleged links to human trafficking, which involved the smuggling of 1,200 victims to the Middle East and North Africa. The alleged traffickers are also suspected of sending 500 victims to work as domestic helpers in Morocco, 220 to Turkey, 300 to Syria and another 200 to Saudi Arabia between 2018 and 2019.
“This is the biggest human trafficking case that the national police have uncovered so far,” Herry Nahak, head of the Indonesian national police’s Criminal Investigation Unit, commented. Some of the victims’ wages haven’t been paid, while others experienced sexual abuse. All of the victims have been repatriated to Indonesia.
Hundreds of thousands of Indonesians from the poorest parts of the country travel abroad for better paying work every year. They mostly earn a living as maids and labourers. The police estimated that about 4.5 million Indonesians work overseas, the majority of whom are women and they are without official documentation.
In 2015, the government introduced a moratorium on sending new domestic workers to Middle Eastern countries due to the poor treatment of its workers there. Last year, an Indonesian woman who was trafficked to Malaysia died from serious injuries inflicted by her employer. The employer was later charged with murder.
Source: Channel News Asia