Forty-five Burmese fishermen have been rescued from a hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia, where they had been placed by human traffickers after traveling to the country with fabricated documents. The AP reports reports the men were victims of human trafficking and had previously worked for four years as slave labor on Thai boats in the Ambon island chain.
Indonesian police found the men from a cellphone signal in Jakarta. Authorities do not yet know who was the mastermind behind the trafficking network, nor do they know who they men traveled without real documents.
The men are now being kept in a safe house for protection. Some were confused about how they came to Jakarta from Ambon.
One victim said traffickers originally promised the men jobs in Thailand. Once on the boats, they were scarcely paid or not paid at all.
A victim who chose not to be identified said, "We were beaten on the boat and were not allowed to rest, even when we were sick.”
National Police Detective Chief Lt. Gen. Budi Waseso said, "They are just victims. We will uncover the truth, including how the network runs its crime and how it could happen here.”
Publication date: August 6, 2015