Police Investigates Human Trafficking Cases Half-Heartedly

Thursday, 18 August 2016 , 20:00:00 WIB - Law

Human trafficking victim peeked from a bus after she arrived at terminal 1 C of Soekarno Hatta Airport, Tangerang, Banten, Tuesday (16/8). 16 human trafficking victims were brought to the Trauma Social Affairs Ministry´s Trauma Center Protection House (RPTC) in East Jakarta. (ANTARA)

JAKARTA, GRES.NEWS - The Police Criminal Investigation Agency (Bareskrim) is conducting an investigation again into human trafficking cases. 14 people have been named as suspects in the case. However, many parties expect the police to investigate the cases further, and reveal the network that has the conspiracy to commit human trafficking.

14 of the suspects were going to send the victims, who are Indonesian illegal migrant workers, abroad. Police Chief Gen. Tito Karnavian exposed that the case emerged after President Joko Widodo instructed the police to reveal the truth behind the death of the Indonesian migrant worker named Yufrida Selan a.k.a Melinda Sapey. She passed away after she hung herself at her employer's house at Ceras, Malaysia, some time ago.

After the police had investigated the case, the police investigators stated that the mastermind of the case is a former police officer and former official of the Indonesian migrant workers agency (PJTKI). They revealed that the mischievous officials were the network who trafficked the Indonesian migrant workers from Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT), including Yufrida.

The network has started their operation illegally since 2014 until today. Previously, the network was an official migrant workers agency. They turned into illegal migrant workers agency after they suffered losses.

After the police had revealed the case, President Jokowi ordered the police chief to reveal human trafficking cases. Besides that, Tito said that the House of Representatives also ordered them to do the same thing. Therefore, Police Chief Tito Karnavian instructed the Bareskrim Chief Com. Gen. Ari Dono to establish a special task force to investigate human trafficking cases.

At the same time, Ari Dono explained that the 14 suspects were captured in numerous regions, which are West Java, East Java, Nusa Tenggara Timur, West Sumatera, Riau, and Riau Archipelago. Seven of the suspects are connected to the death of Yufrida.

Human trafficking is an organized crime and requires the government's concrete action according to Law No.5/2009 on the ratification of United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime.

TIP OF AN ICEBERG - Human trafficking cases that are currently revealed by the police is believed to be only a tip of an iceberg. If law enforcers don't take an action against the criminal roots, the similar issue would be repeated. In March 2016, Bareskrim has just revealed human trafficking cases. Two suspects initialed S and VR were detained by the police.

Sub-Directorate III Chief of Bareskrim's General Crimes Directorate, Com. Umar Surya Fana said that suspect S stated that 600 victims have been sent to the Middle East and Istanbul, Turkey. In the same year, Indonesian Embassy in Syria has returned 606 Indonesian migrant workers.

In 2012-2014, about 130,000 victims were in Syria. Most of the victims committed suicide, and some of them disappeared.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Affairs Ministry has recorded that 450 Indonesian migrant workers became human trafficking victims in the period of January-October 2015, and the government has succeeded in returning them.

Separately, Executive Director of Migrant Care Anis Hidayah said that human trafficking cases still exist because the state's law enforcement and prevention effort on the cases are still weak. Law enforcers still haven't touched the roots of the international criminal network.

The police, according to Anis, are still investigating human trafficking half-heartedly because they only arrest the suspects who recruited migrant workers to be trafficked abroad. "They only act when the cases storm the public, but they don't follow up the issue, they haven't touched the mastermind yet," Anis said to gres.news, Thursday (18/8).

Anis expects the police to cooperate with Interpol to reveal the human trafficking network so they could resolve the cases immediately.