The Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce (TPPO) at the National Police Criminal Investigation Unit (Bareskrim) has cracked down on a ring that smuggled people from Indonesia to Malaysia. The criminal ring lures young women in Indramayu, West Java, to be sent to Malaysia. They would later be forced into sex workers.
“The recruiter’s name is Reni Sulastri, 41,” Bareskrim director Brigadier General Agus Andrianto said yesterday, January 8, in Jakarta.
According to Agus, Reni did not work alone. She was part of a transnational human trafficking ring. Upon questioning, police learned that most of Reni’s recruitees were minors. Two human trafficking victims identified by police were only 15 and 16. “The victims are [identified as] Ni, 16, and Nu, 15,” Agus said.
Reni met Ni and Nu in Indramayu in October, offering them restaurant jobs in Malaysia. Reni promised huge salaries to the victims.
They departed from Indramayu to Jakarta before flying to Pontianak in West Kalimantan. In Pontianak, a man called Aco picked them up and later smuggled them to Malaysia via Entikong by hiding them in a vehicle.
In Malaysia, Aco handed over Ni and Nu to a woman called Ita who forced them into prostitution without being paid. Ni later managed to run away and call her parents. “Ni’s parents reported the case to KJRI [Indonesian Consulate General] in Kuching. The victim was picked up by KJRI [personnel] and returned to Indonesia,” Agus said.
Police subsequently arrested Reni in Indramayu. The Indonesian National Police have contacted their Malaysian counterparts to pursue Aco and Ita and release other victims allegedly still held in Kuching, Malaysia.
Indramayu Regent Anna Sophanah concedes that the city is West Java’s largest migrant workers supplier. “We are unable to create job opportunities,” she said.
Manpower Minister M. Hanif Dhakiri in late December launched Productive Migrant Village (Desmigratif) program in Kenangan Village, Indramayu District. Desmigratif program is aimed at reducing illegal immigration.
The ministry is targeting establishment of 120 Desmigratif in 50 regencies and cities in Indonesia, particularly in the provinces of North Sumatra, Lampung, Banten, Central Java, West Java, East Java, West Kalimantan, West Nusa Tenggara and East Nusa Tenggara.