BATAM, KOMPAS.com – Riau Islands Police’s Criminal Investigation Department (Ditreskrimum) arrested six people suspected of recruiting 22 Indonesian crewmen who worked at two Chinese flag-bearing vessels Lu Huang Yuan Yu 117 and Lu Huang Yuan Yu 118.
Arrested in Tegal in Central Java province on Tuesday, July 20, the six suspects were then brought to Batam in Riau Islands near Singapore for further investigation. Among the suspects are Harsono, 36, Taufiq Alwi, 40, Totok Subagyo, 61, and Laila Kadir, 54.
“Meanwhile two other suspects Sutrisyono (55) and Mohamad Hoji (60) were examined at the Tegal Police Precinct in Central Java,” Senior Commissioner Arie Darmanto, director of Ditreskrimum at Riau Islands Police said in a telephone interview July 26.
Arie said the suspects were arrested by a team under the coordination of the Riau Islands Police, the Central Java Police, and the National Police’s human trafficking task force following the death of Hasan Afriandi, 27, whose body was kept in the cold storage of Lu Huang Yuan Yu 118 ship and was allegedly mistreated by the ship’s supervisor.
Early this month, a joint patrol team from Indonesia chased the two Chinese flag-bearing vessels in Indonesian waters and found 22 Indonesian crewmen in them.
After the ship’s supervisor has been arrested, the team focused on a search for recruitment agencies who allegedly sent illegal expatriates to work at the vessels.
The team then found four companies believed to have been the mastermind of the crewmen recruiters in Central Java. “Following police investigation, the team secured the six suspects in Tegal regency in Central Java,” he said.
Investigators said PT Mandiri Tunggal Abadi sent 12 crew members, PT Gigar Marine International recruited five crewmen, while PT Novarica Agatha Mandiri and PT MJM Abdi Baruna provided four crewmen and a crewman, respectively.
“The police managed to secure six suspects comprising directors and commissioners from four Indonesian companies. The case allegedly involves Singapore’s company that employed the crew members. The case is being investigated by Interpol,” Arie said.
He said the six suspects have different roles in carrying out the recruitment process. Police found the four companies were holding bogus business licenses and were not registered in the relevant ministries.
The police confiscated 66 passports, 37 seafarers' books, company documents, expired permit documents, five sheets of contract agreements, and savings books.
If found guilty, the six suspects could face 20 years in prison and a fine of five billion rupiahs ($346,000). The supervisor of Lu Huan Yuan Yu 118 ship faces a murder charge.
(Writer: Hadi Maulana | Editor: Aprillia Ika)
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