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Arrests in Indonesian probe into latest case of labor abuses on Chinese fishing boats by Basten Gokkon July 29,2020   |  Source: Mongabay

Authorities in Indonesia have arrested and charged five executives from local recruitment agencies linked to the forced labor endured by 22 Indonesians on board two Chinese fishing boats.

Those charged are accused of the human trafficking of the migrant workers, one of whom died on board one of the boats and was stored in a freezer. The workers were recruited in Indonesia and left the country for Singapore in late December 2019 to work on the Chinese-owned boats Lu Huang Yuan Yu 117 and Lu Huang Yuan Yu 118. The boats were scheduled to sail to Argentina to fish for squid.

When the boats arrived back in Indonesian waters in early July, they were stopped by authorities who had been tipped off about alleged crew abuse and human trafficking. Police discovered the body of one of the workers, Hasan Afriandi, 20, inside the freezer on the Lu Huang Yuan Yu 118.

Arie Dharmanto, the police officer overseeing the investigation from the province of Riau Islands, said at a July 26 press conference that the recruitment of the workers by the local agencies did not comply with labor laws.

He added his office was working with Interpol on the investigation, as they suspect that a recruitment company based in Singapore was also involved. Police in the Riau Islands have impounded both


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