JAKARTA, Indonesia – Lt. Col. Arie Dharmanto, Indonesia's National Police anti-trafficking unit chief, says two Indonesians and five Thai nationals have been arrested and accused of human trafficking connected with slavery in the seafood industry.
Dharmanto said Tuesday that the arrests were made Monday and Friday in the remote island village of Benjina. Five Thai boat captains and two Indonesian employees at Pusaska Benjina Resources, one of the largest fishing firms in eastern Indonesia, were taken into custody.
The arrests come after The Associated Press earlier this year reported on slave-caught seafood shipped from Benjina to Thailand where it can be exported and enter the supply chains of some of America's biggest food retailers.
If prosecuted, the men face jail sentences of up to 15 years and fines as high as $46,000.