An Indonesian official says the captains of three Thai fishing boats have escaped after their vessels were seized with dozens of trafficked foreign fishermen on board.

The chief of a local fishing office, Sumono Darwinto, said Tuesday the captains were detained last month when they were found operating trawlers under Malaysian flags that were fishing off Kalimantan, Indonesia's part of Borneo island. He said the captains fled after scaling the wall of the detention center in the middle of the night, and are still being sought by police and military officials. Eight other Thai crew members remain in detention.

The Fisheries Ministry in Jakarta said the 79 crew members from Cambodia and Myanmar were identified as victims of trafficking, and most had fake Thai travel documents.