39 victims of human trafficking rescued

PHOTO: Reuters

The government has rescued 39 Indonesians who had become victims of human trafficking in Qatif city, Saudi Arabia.

Muhibuddin, legal attache at the Indonesian Embassy in Riyadh, said that 20 had been returned home while the rest were still waiting for immigration processes to be completed.

"This is the first co-operation between the Saudi Arabian police and the Indonesian Embassy to save Indonesian victims of human trafficking on a large scale. This is a good start," he said on Sunday as quoted by kompas.com.

The victims came from West Java, West Nusa Tenggara, Central Java, Banten, Lampung and Southeast Sulawesi.

"The National Police will collect additional evidence to prosecute perpetrators," he said.

The victims were found in a house belonging to Basma al-Ghanif, a Saudi Arabian, who is allegedly the case's mastermind. Local police have also arrested others involved in the case.

Each suspect will be charged with human trafficking with a maximum sentence of 15 years or 1 million riyal (S$370,000) in fines.

Muhibuddin said that human trafficking cases had been on the rise. He said that along this year, there had been more than 450 Indonesians that had become victims in various countries, but many had been returned home.

Purchase this article for republication.