Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggar (ANTARA) - The Human Trafficking Task Force from the National Police (Polri) Criminal Investigation Agency rescued 2,497 victims of human trafficking since it was first formed on June 5, 2023.

"The Human Trafficking Task Force, formed by the president and chaired by the National Police Chief, has carried out law enforcement by rescuing 2,497 victims," Head of the National Police Public Relations Division, Inspector General Sandi Nugroho, stated at the 17th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC) in Labuan Bajo, West Manggarai District, East Nusa Tenggara, Monday.

Quoting President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), Nugroho remarked that human trafficking is a matter of grave concern for the country. Hence, the National Police immediately followed up on the president's direction to handle human trafficking through the formation of the task force.

Moreover, the Human Trafficking Task Force has enforced the law with 771 police reports. The police have also arrested 924 suspects, he noted.

"This is a form of our seriousness in following up on the president's orders, and it has become an agreement to be used as a joint guideline to free ASEAN countries from human trafficking practices," Nugroho emphasized.

Apart from being Indonesia's problem, human trafficking is also the responsibility of ASEAN countries as agreed at the 42nd ASEAN Summit in May 2023, he highlighted.

Hence, during the AMMTC in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia is pushing for an improvement in cooperation to prevent human trafficking by law enforcement as well as assistance for victims and witnesses related to the crime.

Furthermore, the country is pursuing cooperation to increase the capacity of other stakeholders to equalize perceptions regarding human trafficking. It is expected that human trafficking cases can be solved through sound cooperation in the future, Nugroho remarked.

"The key lies in coordination, communication, and collaboration," he stated.

Regarding other crimes that resulted in perpetrators escaping abroad, his side continues to push for an agreement for ASEAN countries to help each other and coordinate in arresting suspects, examining witnesses, or other matters.

"Indonesia, as Chair of the AMMTC, has a great opportunity to invite cooperation from ASEAN countries to realize justice and prosperity that can be cooperated as well as possible," Nugroho stated.

The 17th AMMTC has been officially opened by President Jokowi. The meeting is being held on August 21-23, 2023, and would discuss 10 priority issues on transnational crimes.

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Translator: Fransiska Mariana N, Resinta S
Editor: Sri Haryati
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