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Investigation into Pusaka Benjina sheds light on other abuses in marine & fishery sector

Author: antaranews.com, Published on: 11 May 2015

"Benjina slavery case sheds light on other crimes", 28 Apr 2015

The alleged slavery case by the Thai firm PT Pusaka Benjina Resource (PBR), based in Aru Island, Maluku province, has led to the revelation of other alleged crimes in the maritime and fishery sector. The Ministry of Manpower is probing indications and investigating alleged slavery practices against the crew members of PT PBRs fishing vessels operating in the waters of Aru Island..."The manpower ministry is still carrying out thorough investigations in the Benjina case. We are examining manpower violations while criminal violations are being handled by the police," Manpower Minister M. Hanif Dhakiri stated...The International Organization for Migration (IOM) revealed that the number of fishermen forced into slavery reaches four thousand...[B]ased on the results of a preliminary investigation, crew members who had been employed for 22 hours a day by the company totaled 1,456, comprising 251 Indonesians and 1,205 foreigners that include 1,196 from Thailand, two from Cambodia, and 20 from Myanmar...[T]he Indonesian Traditional Fishermens Association (KNTI) and the Commission on Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) stated that the alleged slavery case involving PT PBR had also unveiled other crimes in the marine and fishery sector...Kontras and KNTI have urged the police and the government to conduct a thorough investigation on the death of Sairlela, the key witness in the Benjina slavery case.

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