Batam, Riau Islands (ANTARA) - The Human Trafficking Crime Task Force (Satgas TPPO) of the Riau Islands Police has successfully thwarted 14 attempts to smuggle people in operations conducted in the last ten days.

"In the period from June 5 to 15, 2023, the Riau Islands Police uncovered 14 cases of attempts to send non-procedural migrant workers," said Senior Commissioner Adip Rojikan, the task force's deputy head and director of general crime at the Riau Islands Police, on Thursday.

During the operations, the police rescued 65 victims who were planning to leave the country for Malaysia, Singapore, and Cambodia, he added.

The 65 migrant workers consisted of 45 men and 20 women from various regions, namely Java, Palembang, Bengkulu, West Nusa Tenggara, Lampung, Aceh, Medan, and Batam.

The police also arrested 22 suspects in connection with the cases, Rojikan added.

"The suspects recruited victims from their areas of origin by offering high-paying jobs abroad without any costs, prepared travel tickets, provided shelter facilities, and dispatched prospective workers through official and unofficial ports," he informed.

The victims, who were apprehended at official ports, possessed passports but did not possess other documents required by Law Number 18 of 2017 concerning the Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers.

These documents include certificates of marital status, certificates of husband/wife permission, letters of competency, certificates of health, work visas, worker placement agreements, and work agreements.

"Meanwhile, those who use the rat path (unofficial route), typically the migrant workers, depart using boats," he said.

Currently, the 22 suspects have been detained by the police and will face sanctions under Article 81 jo 83 of Law Number 18 of 2017, as amended by Law Number 6 of 2023 on Job Creation.

Related news: Village authorities can help prevent human trafficking: BP2MI
Related news: Use authorized recruitment to avoid human trafficking: BP2MI

Translator: Ilham Y Pratama, Sri Haryati
Editor: Anton Santoso
Copyright © ANTARA 2023