Indonesian trafficking victims in Malaysia repatriated

PHOTO: The Straits Times

The Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur repatriated 35 Indonesian citizens on Wednesday who had been living there without correct documentation, 28 of them victims of human trafficking.

The embassy said in a statement as quoted by Antara news agency that prior to the repatriation, the 28 trafficking victims had been accommodated in Rumah Perlindungan Khas Wanita (RPKW), a women's safe house belonging to the Malaysian government.

It was said that 27 out of the 28 were victims of a trafficking network led by Iyadh Mansour, who was attempting to smuggle them to the Middle East before Malaysian security authorities foiled the attempt.

Meanwhile, the other trafficking victim, identified as Riamis, had been working in Kelantan, Malaysia, for two years. According to the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Riamis had never received her salary from her employer and was often subjected to cruel treatment at her work place.

The embassy also stated that it had facilitated the repatriation of four Indonesians who were sick. They were Benni, aged 37, Dede Julia, 30, Ngatini, 43, and Yani, 21. It also returned home three Indonesians who had been dispatched without proper procedure. They were Isah, 40, Munah, 45, and Zupmiati, 43.

The Foreign Ministry's legal aid and protection of Indonesian nationals overseas directorate promised that it would push relevant institutions to trace the recruitment agencies that had unlawfully dispatched the three Indonesian workers to Malaysia.

The ministry hoped that the agencies could be prosecuted for breaching Law No.39/2004 on the protection and placement of migrant workers and Law No.21/2007 on human trafficking eradication.