investigate trafficking of women across West Timor border
February 4, 2004 12:08am Antara
POLICE UNCOVER PEOPLE TRAFFICKING SYNDICATE IN CIREBON
Cirebon, W. Java, Jan 31 (ANTARA) - Police have uncovered a
people-trafficking syndicate in Cirebon which was recruiting
teenaged girls for the sex industry in Batam, a spokesman said
Police arrested two members of the syndicate, identified as Agus
Supomo, 51, and his son, Yossi Ruspandi, 20, said Taufik Asrori,
chief of the Cirebon police's detective unit.
Taufik said the two suspects were running an operation in which
teenaged girls were lured into the syndicate's bondage with
promises of employment. After they had been snared, the girls
were sold to a panderer in Batam for Rp400,000 per head.
"We also saved seven teenaged girls, residents of Cirebon, who
had been brought to Batam and forced to work as prostitutes
without their parents' knowledge," he said, The seven girls had
been in Batam since last month.
The syndicate usually approached the victims with an offer to
work as waitress in cafes in Batam with a monthly salary of Rp1
million but in reality the girls were sold to panderers.
One of the victims, El, said she had been forced to work as a
prostitute and paid Rp90,000 a night.
The girls could not escape as they were constantly surrounded by
bodyguards and being intimidated.
The two arrested syndicate members had broken Law No.23/2002 on
protection of children and face a minimum jail sentence of three
years and a fine of Rp60 million.
Separately, in Belu, East Nusa Tenggara, police are
investigating a suspected case of women's trafficking in which
women were smuggled into neighboring East Timor.
"We are investigating indications of women's trafficking based
on information collected in the field although we have yet to
receive a formal report on it," First Insp R Firdaus, chief of
the Belu police's detective unit, said.
Firdaus referred to a recent happening in front of the Intan
Atambua Hotel in which an East Timorese female was negotiating
with motorbike-taxi drivers to take two teenaged girls across
the border via a narrow path in Silawan village, Tasifeto
Informed sources told ANTARA , women's trafficking across the
East Nusa Tenggara-East Timor border is being organized by a
syndicate which have links with certain people in Belu.
After gaining information on teenaged East Nusa Tenggara girls
who want to work in East Timor, the syndicate would arrange for
them to be smuggled into the neighboring country.
Meanwhile, in Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara, the executive
director of Women's Journal Foundation, Gadis Arivia, questioned
the government's seriousness in combating women's and children's
Provincial legislators were neither very helpful as they were
busy with their parties' preparations to tke part in the general
elections, Gadis said.
Indonesia, she added, was lagging far behind other ASEAN member
ecountries in providing legal protection for its migrant
workers, especially female workers.
Many Indonesian women were enticed to work abroad with high
salary but in fact they were sold and forced to make a living as
According to Gadis, the current law on children's protection
could not cover all cases of women and children smuggling.
"The government and legislative body must make a law on women
and children smuggling," Gadis said.
(THROUGH ASIA PULSE)