World

5 Thais, 2 Indonesians arrested, accused of human trafficking in seafood slavery case

  • FILE - In this April 3, 2015 file photo, rescued Burmese fishermen raise their hands as they are asked who among them wants to go home at the compound of Pusaka Benjina Resources fishing company in Benjina, Aru Islands, Indonesia. Two Indonesians and five Thais were arrested on charges of human trafficking connected with slavery in the seafood industry, Indonesian police said Tuesday, May 12. They were the first suspects taken into custody since the case was revealed by The Associated Press in a report two months ago. The arrests were made Monday and late Friday in the remote island village of Benjina, said Lt. Col. Arie Dharmanto, National Police anti-trafficking unit chief. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara, File)

    FILE - In this April 3, 2015 file photo, rescued Burmese fishermen raise their hands as they are asked who among them wants to go home at the compound of Pusaka Benjina Resources fishing company in Benjina, Aru Islands, Indonesia. Two Indonesians and five Thais were arrested on charges of human trafficking connected with slavery in the seafood industry, Indonesian police said Tuesday, May 12. They were the first suspects taken into custody since the case was revealed by The Associated Press in a report two months ago. The arrests were made Monday and late Friday in the remote island village of Benjina, said Lt. Col. Arie Dharmanto, National Police anti-trafficking unit chief. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this April 4, 2015 file photo, an Indonesian official put on wrist bands on recently rescued Burmese fishermen for identification purpose upon their arrival in Tual, Indonesia. Two Indonesians and five Thais were arrested on charges of human trafficking connected with slavery in the seafood industry, Indonesian police said Tuesday, May 12. They were the first suspects taken into custody since the case was revealed by The Associated Press in a report two months ago. The arrests were made Monday and late Friday in the remote island village of Benjina, said Lt. Col. Arie Dharmanto, National Police anti-trafficking unit chief.  (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara, File)

    FILE - In this April 4, 2015 file photo, an Indonesian official put on wrist bands on recently rescued Burmese fishermen for identification purpose upon their arrival in Tual, Indonesia. Two Indonesians and five Thais were arrested on charges of human trafficking connected with slavery in the seafood industry, Indonesian police said Tuesday, May 12. They were the first suspects taken into custody since the case was revealed by The Associated Press in a report two months ago. The arrests were made Monday and late Friday in the remote island village of Benjina, said Lt. Col. Arie Dharmanto, National Police anti-trafficking unit chief. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara, File)  (The Associated Press)

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.